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Exam Services

A regular eye exam is the best way to protect your eyesight and it’s an easy precaution to take. It is particularly important if you notice a change in your vision, if your eye is injured in any way, or if you have a family history of eye disease.

What to bring to your visit

There is a lot you can do you prepare for you exam. Coming prepared with your essential information will help to ensure a productive visit that will address all your vision needs.

  • Photo identification
  • Insurance cards
  • List of your current medications and allergies
  • Print & fill-out our paperwork at home.
  • Current glasses or written prescriptions from previous visit
  • Foil tops or boxes of current contact lenses
  • Prescription sunglasses
  • Computer glasses

What to expect during your visit

We use a wide variety of tests and procedures to examine your eyes. These tests can range from simples ones, like reading the eye chart, to more complex procedures like using a special camera to evaluate the tiny structures inside your eyes.

A comprehensive eye exam usually takes about 30 minutes depending on the number and complexity of tests required to fully evaluate your vision and the health of our eyes.

  • Check-in. If you’re a new patient, you’ll need to fill-out our intake paperwork (you can print out our forms and fill them out at home). If you’re a returning patient, you’ll only need to review your information to make sure your information is current.
  • History. The technician will start by asking you questions about your ocular, medical and family history. This information is important as it helps the doctor to tailor your appointment to your specific needs.
  • Visual Acuity. This is usually the first test performed in a comprehensive eye exam. Visual acuity tests measure the sharpness of your vision.
    This test is usually performed using a projected eye chart to measure the clarity of your distance visual vision. A small hand-held acuity chart is used to measure your near vision.
  • Lensometry. The technician will use the auto-lensometer to read the prescription on your current glasses, sunglasses and computer glasses. This information will be important for the doctor to use during your refraction. This gives him an idea of what you are currently using and how best to update your prescription. Please bring all of your glasses to your appointment, even if they don’t seem like the correct prescription.
  • Auto-Refraction. An autorefractor determines the lens power required to accurately focus light on your retina. Autorefractors are especially useful in certain cases such as evaluating young children who may not sit still, pay attention or interact with the eye doctor adequately for an accurate manual refraction. Our Topcon autorefractor is very accurate. The autorefractor takes only a few seconds, and the results obtained from the automated test greatly reduce the time required for your eye doctor to perform a manual refraction and determine your eyeglass prescription. Not only is the test fast, but it helps to remove about half of the choices you need to make during the fine-tuning of the manual refraction.
  • Visual Field Screening. This test measures your peripheral vision and the function of your optic nerve by looking for the presence of blind spots in your peripheral or "side" vision. Blind spots can originate from eye diseases such as glaucoma. Analysis of these blind spots may help identify specific areas of brain damage caused by a stroke or tumor.
  • Retinal Imaging or Dilation Drops. To obtain a better view of the eye's internal structures we can either take a digital image of the back of your eye or instill dilating drops to enlarge your pupils. We recommend the digital imaging for most patients. Retinal photos give the doctor a more magnified view of the internal structures of the eye and creates a record that can be referred back to on future visits to help determine subtle changes. If you choose to have your eyes dilated, drops are instilled to enlarge your pupil size. Once the drops have taken effect, the doctor will use various instruments to look inside your eyes. With dilated pupils, you will be sensitive to light and you may notice difficulty focusing on up close objects. These effects can last up to several hours depending on the strength of the drop used and your body’s chemistry. You should bring sunglasses with you to your exam to minimize glare and light sensitivity on the way home. If you forget to bring sunglasses, we will give you a disposable pair.
  • Review of history with Doctor. The doctor will review your previous chart notes and all the information the technician gathered during your pre-testing. This information helps to determine which tests the doctor will perform.
  • Refraction. This is the test that your eye doctor uses to determine your exact eyeglass prescription. During a refraction, the doctor puts the instrument called a phoropter in front of your eyes and shows you a series of lens choices. He will ask you which of the two lenses in each choice looks clearer. Based on your answers, your eye doctor will continue to fine-tune the lens power until reaching a final eyeglass prescription. We use a state-of-the-art automated phoropter. The doctor controls the auto-phoropter from a console on his desk instead of turing dials on the instrument itself. To make a refraction easier and more accurate, this new instrument does a few of the traditional tests differently. The refraction determines your amount of hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness), astigmatism and presbyopia.
  • Health Evaluation. The biomicroscope or slit-lamp is an instrument that the doctor uses to examine the health of your eyes. This instrument allows the doctor to get a highly magnified view of the structures of your eye to thoroughly evaluate your eye health and detect any signs of infection or disease. We examine the structures of the front of your eye (lids, cornea, conjunctiva, iris, etc.). Then, with the help of a special high-powered lens, we view the inside of your eye (retina, optic nerve, macula and more). A wide range of eye conditions and diseases can be detected with slit-lamp examination, including cataracts, macular degeneration, corneal ulcers, diabetic retinopathy, etc.
  • Glaucoma Screening. This test measures the pressure inside your eye. The doctor will put yellow eye drops in your eye to numb it. Your eyes will feel slightly heavy or sticky when the drops start working. This is not a dilating drop, it is a numbing agent combined with a yellow dye that glows under a blue light. Then the doctor will have you stare straight ahead into the slit lamp while he gently touches the surface of your eye with the tonometer to measure your IOP. This test is painless and most patient prefer it to the traditional puff-of-air test. At most, you may feel the tonometer probe tickle your eyelashes. The whole test takes just a few seconds. If you have high eye pressure, you may be at risk for or have glaucoma. You typically have no warning signs of glaucoma until you already have significant vision loss. For this reason, routine eye exams that include tonometry are essential to rule out early signs of glaucoma and protect your eyesight.
  • Review of Findings. After all of the testing is complete, the doctor will make recommendations for a treatment plan. For patients with blurry vision, possibilities may include glasses for computer use or driving. For patients with eye infections, the doctor may write a prescription for medicated eye drops. When necessary, we can make referrals to specialized doctors for cataract or laser surgery.
  • Optical Boutique. If you need glasses, the next stop is our optical boutique. Our opticians can help you choose the perfect pair of lenses and frames to help you see better. Our selection is well over 600 different styles. Don’t be intimidated, we’ll help you find the perfect pair.
  • Contact Lens Department. If you had a contact lens exam, the next step is our contact lens department. Here, new wearers will schedule their training visit. Current wearers will order trial lenses if the doctor changed their prescription or they can order their annual supply of contacts if there were no changes at this visit.
  • Check-out at Front Desk. After your exam is over, you’ve scheduled any recommended follow-up visits, ordered glasses and/or contact lenses, the front desk staff will help you coordinate any insurance benefits. You’ll receive an itemized receipt of your visit and an estimate of your insurance benefits being used.

Frequently asked questions

Here are a few questions we get asked frequently.

  • Do you use the puff-of-air test? We don’t. We use the yellow drop-blue light test. Most patients find this test much more comfortable.
  • Should I get the digital retinal photos or just the drops? We recommend the digital photos. The imaging give the doctor a much more magnified view of the internal structures of you eye while creating a record to refer back to on future visits. Dilation can sometimes make driving difficult and make near tasks difficult if you are planning on returning to work right after your exam.
  • Can I drive after my exam? If you are dilated during your exam, glare and light sensitivity may make driving difficult. While most patients are safe to drive, we recommend using your best judgement. This may mean waiting in the office until the drops wear off. For patients concerned about this, we recommend getting the digital photos.
  • My child says they can’t see, but I’m not sure? This is a common concern among parents. We recommend bringing in your child for an eye exam on a regular basis. Many eye conditions are hard for kids to detect on their own because they may not realize their vision isn’t optimal. The auto-refraction and refraction testing will help confirm if your child does or does not need glasses. At the minimum, we can make sure their eyes are healthy.


With all the recent changes from the Affordable Care Act, Insurance companies have become very strict on the details. Please provide us your current insurance card at every visit. Subtle details like group numbers or insurance billing addresses can change without your noticing. Billing with outdated information can cause delays or outright denials.

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Village Eye Care, LLC
9606 271st Street NW
Stanwood, Washington 98292

Phone: 360-939-0604
FAX: 360-939-2268