5 Tips for Getting the Best Eye Exam from your Eye Doctor

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Visiting the optometrist, or any doctor, can be intimidating — but with our helpful guide to a practical eye exam for eyeglasses, it doesn’t have to be. Like all things at David Kind eyewear, we’ve fine-tuned your experience by providing you our top tips to get the most out of your next eye exam. 

1. Visit your optometrist…in-person

Virtual exams have become available in recent years, through third-party ocular brands like Visibly and Warby Parker. Although these “virtual exams” increase ease and accessibility, the most accurate and reliable way to receive your eye exam is to go in-person. In fact, the FDA recently recalled the marketing of telemedicine for eye exams, as there is potential for health hazards — and the FDA is now driving everyone back to the doctor’s office. 

Why go in-person?

The technology for virtual eye exams just isn’t there yet via third-party platforms, and the most accurate results for your prescription can only be gathered, manipulated and adjusted by your optometrist. Optometry is a balance between art and science — and involves fine-tuning and manipulating each sensitivity and human difference based on how your prescription will work in the real world. 

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2. Ask for trial frames or lenses

When you visit your optometrist in-person, make sure you request trial lenses. Some eye doctors will use trial lenses when there is a meaningful change to your Rx. But not all do. It is an extra step and a bit time consuming. By confirming your prescription with trial lenses you can avoid unnecessary trips back to the doctor and simplify your lens production process. 

What are trial lenses? 

They are lenses that have been put into a funny looking frame that allow you to perceive how your new prescription will feel more accurately than the exam equipment. It is more similar to the final pair of lenses you will get in your glasses. 

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Why ask for trial frames/lenses?

Trial lenses allow you to fine-tune your prescription, before committing to it. This is especially crucial if you are new to eyeglasses or have a dramatic change to your prescription — such as a strong change in astigmatism or have been prescribed progressive lenses for the first time. 

What other reasons are there for trial lenses?

During your exam, talk to your doctor about the situations in which you’ll be wearing your glasses and what you spend your time doing, as this will affect your prescription. They are very valuable if you are planning to buy a specialty pair of glasses, such as a pair for computer distance. This is very common for photographers, writers, and business professionals. With the trial lenses, the doctor can fine tune the Rx for your intended use — like how far away you are from your computer, and so on.

3. Push to fine-tune acuity (not just RX power) 

The ‘phoropter,’ is a standard tool used during an eye exam to measure the refractive error to determine a patient’s eye glass prescription. This element of the exam features a variety of lenses that can be applied and is subjective to the patient — as it requires them to indicate which lenses allow him or her to see better.

Your lens power is equivalent to the magnification of your prescription, while “acuity” is the clarity (20/20) of your vision. The Phoropter dials in your prescription’s magnification, while your trial lenses or frames will usually fine-tune the acuity and get you to that next level of optical clarity. 

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4. Communicate with your doctor

Communicating with your doctor regarding the benefits available to you as a patient can improve your experience immensely. Your doctor can easily calculate your pupil distance or provide you with a lens material recommendation. Both of which will simplify your lens replacement and frame selection. 

5. Learn more about your prescription

From traditional exams to wavefront technology, each exam and prescription is different. Have a question about how David Kind frames or lenses will work with your prescription? Connect with us at optician@davidkind.com or chat below.

Here is a useful checklist when looking to get the most out of any eye exam:

  1. Be prepared to ask your doctor questions. For example, “what should I expect with a change in my Rx?”
  2. If you wear glasses, bring your current pair(s) to your exam
  3. Tell your doctor, in detail, what you use your glasses for. Things such as photo editing, watching TV/Sports/Etc from a distance, driving, viewing your phone etc
  4. Ask for TRIAL FRAME/LENSES for each of the primary uses for your glasses. And ask your doctor to write your Rx for each of those uses.
  5. Ask for your pupil distance number and lens material recommendation
  6. Get a hardcopy of your Rx with expiration date listed

Print out your checklist here.

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Still have some questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Send us an email at optician@davidkind.com



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  1. My cousin has been thinking about going to a professional that will be able to look at them and figure out what is wrong and how they can help her. She would really like to get some help from a professional so that she can see a lot better and be more productive in her job. I liked what you said about how an exam should ask her to identify what lenses she can see out from so that they will understand the magnification and clarity.

  2. Greta James says:

    Thank you for the advice to ask for trial frames and lenses. It is a good idea to give yourself time to get used to your new prescription, especially if it changed a lot from your previous prescription. I think it is smart to consult a professional optometrist every year so you can always be sure that your vision is crystal clear.

  3. It really helped when you talked about eye doctors and what equipment they use to check your eyesight! Recently, my sister said she’s interested in getting an eye exam. My sister’s not very fond of doctors and their scary-looking tools, so I’ll be sure to share your guide with her! Thanks for the information on how trial lenses help evaluate your eyesight.

  4. Max Jones says:

    Thanks for the info about how communication with an eye doctor is important as it can improve your experience. My friend is having viewing objects that are far away from him. I’ll tell my friend to meet with an eye doctor who he can meet with regularly to get his vision corrected.

  5. Communicating with an eye doctor when getting anything like contact lenses definitely feels crucial. These are the kinds of things that could make a lot of difference in the treatment, especially considering how delicate eyes can be. I’ll definitely take a trip to an optometrist that can give me as much advice when getting contacts for myself.

  6. Recently, my wife mentioned she thinks her vision got worse and needs new glasses before she damages her eyesight. I liked what you explained about testing your prescription before agreeing to your new glasses, so I’ll make sure my wife gets your tips now. Thank you for explaining eye exams and how they’re a must for getting the right prescription glasses for you.

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