Eye Exams and Eye Care Specialists

The links in this section help the layperson understand the complexities of the vision care professions. Included are explanations of the differences between various specializations, some common terminology, and descriptions of the procedures and screening tools used in an eye examination. Healthcare professionals will find tips and advice for working with patients who are blind or visually impaired.
Below is a list of topics you'll find in this section. Click on a title to jump to a specific topic.

Eye Care Specialists: What Do They Do?

Descriptions of the specialties of eye care professionals: ophthalmologist, optometrist, low vision specialist, optician, and orthoptist; links for locating a specialist.
Eye care specialists and their areas of expertise; includes links to parents' group and other important sources.
American Academy of Ophthalmology
A quick look at the training and skills of different eye care specialists. 
This site provides information about the vision care field, with resources on training, career and salaries as an optician.

Eye Examinations: What to Expect

American Optometric Association
An explanation of the elements of an eye examination and what the specialist is evaluating.
Optometrists Network
Some of the visual skills that need to be evaluated as part of a child's comprehensive vision examination.
This checklist of questions ensures that seniors get the information they need from eye care professionals.
This list of common abbreviations may be helpful in interpreting an eye report.
Vision First Foundation
Explains the differences between vision screening, testing, and eye examinations.
Advice on preparing for a child's eye exam, what to expect, and steps to take after the exam.

Vision Screening Tools

Colorado Department of Education
Includes visual screening importance, guidelines, and procedures.
Optometrists Network
Checklists of signs and symptoms of vision impairments in children.
Colorado Department of Education
Vision questionnaire forms for the parent interview process.

Visual Acuity Definitions

Prevent Blindness
How visual acuity is calculated using the Snellen Eye Chart.
Ted Montgomery
Understanding terminology and measurements, including 20/20, visual acuity, optical infinity, the size of a 20/20 letter, and much more.
American Optometric Association
Quick answers to common questions.

Visual Field Definitions

The Eyes Have It
A video demonstration of testing to determine the scope of visual field; downloads to user's desktop.
An explanation of the functional field of vision test, with definitions of terms.
Perkins eLearning Tutorial
Luisa Mayer, Ph.D., an internationally known specialist in visual field/functional vision testing describes strategies for assessing field loss and interpreting assessment results. A good explanation of visual field loss and impacts for laypersons and parents as well.