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Retinoscopy: How Does it Work?

There may be various assessments that you may have noticed at an eye exam and wondered what they are for. Having a bright light shined into your eyes could be an example. Firstly, this test is known as a retinoscopy examination, and it's a basic way to determine the refractive error of your eye. By merely looking at the way light reflects off your retina, the optometrist can determine if you are nearsighted, farsighted or have astigmatism. This is how they may also measure the prescription required to correct your vision.

How well your eyes are able to focus under the circumstance we create during the retinoscopy exam is the main thing we look for. We begin the exam by looking for what's known as your red reflex. The retinoscope sends a beam of light into your eye, and a red or orange light reflects through your pupil and off your retina. The angle at which the light refracts off your retina, which is what eye care professionals call your focal length, is the thing that tells us how well your eye can focus. And if we notice that you can't focus well, that's where the lenses come in. We hold up a number of lenses with varying prescriptions in front of your eye to see which one fixes the refractive error. This is precisely how we find out what prescription your glasses or contact lenses need to be.

Your optometrist will perform your exam in a darkened room. To make your eyes easier to examine, you'll usually be asked to keep your eyes fixed on an object behind the doctor. Because a patient isn't instructed to read eye charts during a retinoscopy exam, it's also a particularly useful way to determine an accurate prescription for children or patients who have difficulty with speech.

To all True Vision patients, customers and friends:

Dr Hopkins and the staff of True Vision want to say thank you for both your patronage and especially your patience during this uncertain time. The AOA and CDC have recommended that we reduce our services to emergencies only for the time being. We will remain available by phone to answer questions, place contact lens orders and schedule appointments for any emergency situations.  Dr. Hopkins is also available by way of FaceTime and Skype for Telemedicine.

Our service hours will be Tuesday and Friday ONLY 10 am-4 pm beginning Tuesday, April 7th until further notice. The office phone number is 740-277-7550 and voicemail is available for any questions or concerns outside of these hours. However, the office is closed to all walk-in traffic.

For our contact lens wearers:

If you need a supply of contacts for the next 2-3 months, we suggest placing an order ASAP as we can not predict how long suppliers will be filling orders. Also, Dr Hopkins will be extending contact lens prescriptions if necessary for 3 additional months without a new exam and fitting on a case by case basis. Lastly, orders of 2 or more boxes can be shipped to you at no additional cost if you prefer.

For our outstanding glasses orders:

You may either pick up your glasses on a drive-by/handoff basis (no adjustments) or we can mail them to you at no additional charge. This is not an ideal way to dispense eyewear but we are trying to follow social distancing guidelines.

We have more detailed information available on our website at drannahopkins.com

Finally, we are so grateful for all of our patients, customers and friends. Dr Hopkins’ ultimate goal for us here at True Vision is to be here for you as long as possible to do whatever we can and to be ready when the smoke eventually clears. Let’s all do what we can for each other by staying home when we’re able, washing our hands and being patient and kind to each other.

Our sincerest thanks,

Dr Anna K Hopkins and the staff at True Vision