What is a Refraction Test

A refraction test is usually given as part of a routine eye exam to measure a person’s prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses. This is the test when the doctor will ask. “Which is better one or two?”. The purpose of the test is to determine whether you have a refractive error. A refractive error happens when the shape of the eye keeps light from focusing correctly on the retina. Refractive errors are the most common type of vision problem.

A refraction test can also help your doctor diagnose and treat conditions such as cataracts. Healthy adults should have a refraction test every two years, while children need them annually from age 6. People aged 60 or over should also be tested every year.

The test is performed by an eye doctor. Your doctor may use a computer called a refractor. A machine you look through measures the amount of light reflected by your retina.

Afterward, your doctor will determine your exact prescription with a piece of equipment called a Phoropter. This device changes multiple lenses of varying power in front of your eyes. What it does is test individual lenses on each eye during the exam.

This test will also tell the doctor if the patient has other conditions, such as:
• Astigmatism (a refractive issue based on the shape of the lens of the eye, which can cause blurry vision).
• Hyperopia (farsightedness).
• Myopia (nearsightedness).
• Presbyopia (inability of the lens of the eye to focus, related to changes in the structure of the eye usually due to aging).

Medicare and medical insurance do not pay for refractions. Most vision plans do cover refraction tests such as:
• Davis Vision
• Eye Med
Call our office or your vision carrier for more information.




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