How Long Does An Eye Test Take

How Long Does An Eye Test Take

A basic eye test typically takes around 25–30 minutes to complete; this number may vary depending on your age and any complexities encountered during your test. We advise that you set aside an hour or two from your schedule to make room for any unforeseen circumstances that may occur over the course of your test. 

Today’s blog post will walk you through the typical eye test procedure and give you tips on how to prepare and possibly save time on your test. We will also help you pick out the right eyewear based on the results of your eye test.


Steps Involved in an Eye Exam 

A comprehensive eye test not only assesses how good your vision is; it digs deeper and assesses your overall eye health. For convenience and clarity, we will be breaking down the eye test procedure into four phases:

  • the consultation phase
  • the preliminary tests
  • the main eye tests (vision tests)
  • the discussion phase.

Consultation Phase

In this phase of your test, your eye doctor will have a conversation with you, asking questions about your visual health and any symptoms you may be experiencing. Questions on your medical history, lifestyle, and reasons why you thought to take an eye test may also come up.

Common questions you may be asked to answer include:

  • What vision problems and symptoms do you currently experience?
  • Have you ever worn prescription glasses or undergone eye surgery?
  • Do you suffer from any underlying ailments, such as diabetes and hypertension?
  • Are you on any medications or eye drops?
  • What do your day-to-day activities look like? Do you drive? How much screen time do you get?

This phase gives your eye doctor an overview of your visual health and should last for about 5 minutes, depending on how clear and direct your responses are. Now that we have covered the consultation phase, let’s move on to the preliminary tests.

Preliminary Tests

These tests are carried out to determine your general eye function without having to test for every possible visual defect. Think of this step as narrowing down the list of possible suspects. These tests take about 10 minutes to complete. The tests in this stage are:

  1. Visual Acuity Test


This test checks how well you can see from a distance. You will be asked to read out letters of varying sizes from an eye chart 20 metres away.Your visual acuity score shows if you have distance vision defects like nearsightedness or longsightedness.  A 20/20 visual acuity score shows you have normal distance vision—you can see far objects just as well as you can see near objects and vice versa.

  1. Eye Pressure Test/Tonometry

This test measures the pressure levels in your eyes. High pressure levels in your eyes are a warning sign of glaucoma—blindness caused by excessive pressure on the optic nerve (the part of the eye that sends images to your brain). An instrument known as the tonometer measures your eye pressure by blowing a puff of air into your eyes.

  1. Autorefractor/Hot-Air Balloon TestIMAGE

An autorefractor is a machine that tells you how light behaves and bends as it enters your eyes. During this test, you will focus your eyes on an image of a colourful hot air balloon while the machine determines the type of refractive error in your eye (nearsightedness, longsightedness, astigmatism, or presbyopia) and the degree of severity. This test gives your eye doctor a rough idea of how much corrective power your lenses should have.

  1. Cover Test

In this test, your eye doctor will ask you to focus on an object at a distance, then cover each eye and report the differences in vision with each eye closed. This test helps your eye doctor assess how well each of your eyes functions individually and how they combine to form your perception of depth and distance.

Main Eye Tests (Vision Test)

After narrowing down on a particular defect, your eye doctor then begins to test for the degree of the defect and how much corrective lens power is needed to get you as close to normal (20/20) vision as possible. This step takes roughly 15 minutes to complete, if any serious complications are not discovered.

Depending on the results of your preliminary tests, you may undergo any of the following tests:

  1. Refraction Test


In this test, your eye doctor fits you with a phoropter—an instrument resembling a pair of glasses but with lenses that are freely removed and changed. You will then be asked to read an eye chart through lenses of different types and powers—spheres, cylinders, and prisms. This will be repeated with different lenses or lens combinations until your vision is as close to normal as possible. The results of this step make up the bulk of your optical prescription.

  1. Slit-Lamp Test

To carry out this test, your eye doctor will use an instrument called the slit lamp to examine your eyes under high magnification. This test examines the structures in the front of your eyes, like your cornea, lens, and iris, for any defects or diseases. This test often reveals eye diseases like cataracts—the clouding of your eye lens due to age.

  1. Retinal Examination/Ophthalmoscopy

This test allows your eye doctor to examine the structures at the back of your eyes, like your retina, optic nerve, and blood vessels. To carry out this test, your optometrist will dilate your pupils and use the ophthalmoscope to look through them. This test is used to identify enlarged blood vessels in the eyes due to hypertension or confirm glaucoma, if suspected from the previous eye pressure test.

Discussion Phase

This is the last phase of an eye exam. Your eye doctor reviews and explains your test results and answers any questions you may have about your vision. Your eye doctor may prescribe corrective lenses for minor defects or recommend lifestyle changes to improve your vision.

This phase should be over in about 10 minutes if severe or potentially blinding defects are not discovered, in which case you may be referred for more specialised attention and care.

How to Prepare for an Eye Exam 

Making proper preparations before going for an eye test may help you shave valuable minutes off what can prove to be a lengthy and tiring procedure. Here are a few tips to consider on the eve of your eye test:

  • Gather all the necessary information and materials that may help with a smoother test process. Your current glasses or contact lenses, a copy of your previous prescription, a list of medications you’re on, and a detailed medical history should be all you’ll need.
  • Write down any symptoms you might be experiencing to ensure that you do not forget to mention any during the examination.
  • Avoid activities that strain your eyes, and get enough sleep the night before your eye test.
  • During the exam, remember to remain calm and take your time to answer any questions. Your doctors are your friends.

FAQs After an Eye Exam 

After taking your eye exam it is normal that you may have a few questions that you want your eye care professional to clear up. Asking these questions on the day of your test may extend your test duration. Let’s help you save time on your test by answering a few of those questions now:

  1. How often should I get an eye test?
    We advise that you take an eye exam once every two years. This helps you keep track of any changes in your vision. If you have underlying conditions like diabetes or hypertension or are over 60 years old, you should take an eye exam more frequently; once a year works just fine.
  2. What should I do if my new glasses are not comfortable?
    Your eyes take about two days to a week to get used to new prescriptions. Contact your eye doctor if you still feel uncomfortable or have headaches after this period. There may be issues with the alignment of the lenses.
  3. How do I read my prescription?
    Optical prescriptions have values like Sphere (SPH), Cylinder (CYL), AXIS and ADD. Read through our ”How to Read Your Optical Prescription” blog post for more details.
  4. How can I prevent my sight from getting worse?
    To make sure your eyes don’t get any worse, stick to your eye check routine and appointments, wear your prescription lenses regularly, eat healthy, and avoid habits like smoking and excessive drinking.
  5. Can I buy my eyeglasses online?

Yes, after getting your prescription you can order your glasses from us. Keep reading to find out how.

How to Order Your Prescription Glasses from Us

After completing your eye test and getting your prescription, next on your agenda should be to pick out the best-quality eyewear. This is where we come in! Follow the following steps to order your glasses from us:

  1. Go to, and scroll through to pick out a frame you like. We understand that this can be a headache with the number of choices available. Read through our frame guide for more information before making a choice
  2. Click the “Try On”  button to upload your picture and virtually try on the frame you’ve picked.
  3. Click the “Enter Prescription” button. Select the Lens type you need and fill in your prescription values and pupillary distance. Click “Continue”.

The first step to helping us fit you with the perfect pair of glasses is to pick out the right frames and lenses. This can be a headache, and you may even be concerned about whether a particular frame will fit. We’ve got you covered. We have a wide selection of different frame types and shapes in stock. Read through our frame guide for more information before making a choice. After picking out a frame that appeals to you, you get the option to upload your picture and virtually try it on.

Tell us your needs by entering your newly acquired prescription and pupillary distance. This guarantees that you will receive lenses specifically tailored to meet your visual needs. You can also choose to add perks like scratch resistance, a blue light filter, or photochrome to your glasses.

Proceed to the check-out page, fill in your shipping address and billing details, and add a coupon code if you have one. Sit back, relax, and your personalised glasses will be at your doorstep in a few days.