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What Are the Different Types of Optometry Equipment?

An optometrist uses a slit lamp machine to examine a patient's eyes.
Optometrists specialize in eye care.
A keratometer can be used to determine the presence and extent of astigmatism.
Laser technology is a piece of optometry equipment that can be used for corrective surgery.
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  • Written By: T. Carrier
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 11 August 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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Optometry deals with issues relating to the eyes and vision. Work duties for optometrists may range from contact lens installation to laser surgery, and many types of equipment help the optometrist perform these diverse duties. Opthalmoscopes, eye charts, and examination chairs comprise primary examination optometry equipment. Eye function measurements are taken by devices such as keratometers. Surgical optometry equipment, on the other hand, encompasses laser devices, microkeratomes, and foreign object removal aids.

Examination is one of the primary components of optometry. The main examination device used by optometrists is the opthalmoscope. It consists of a battery-powered light and different lenses contained in a small device. These lenses can be used to examine the retina, the cornea, and other eye structures. Patients receive examinations in an optometric examination chair that can be adjusted.

Degree of sight can be examined with two primary pieces of optometry equipment: an eye chart and a phoroptor. Charts containing letters, numbers, and other symbols may be printed on a board or they may be reflected onto a plain background via a chart projector. While a patient details the various symbols found on the charts, he or she looks through different lenses to determine what kind of visual assistance will be needed. A photoroptor is the device that helps patients view the chart through these lenses.

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Diagnostic tools comprise another major category of optometry equipment. These tools help optometrists measure the functional capacity of various portions of the eye. They usually consist of a device applied near the eye and have an electronic outlet with a digital monitor that provides various readings. One of the more prominent measurement tools is the keratometer. The device evaluates the amount of curving in the eye's cornea and may help determine the source of blurry vision.

Many similar devices aid the optometrist with evaluating various aspects of the eye. A pachymeter, for example, measures cornea thickness and helps diagnose glaucoma. A retinoscope and a pupilometer measure different properties of the eye's retina and pupil, respectively.

A large percentage of blurred division is caused by refraction disorders, in which light does not hit the retina properly. Most optometrists will use refractive aids and other optometry equipment to address these problems. This equipment consists of corrective lenses in the form of eyeglasses or contact lens. Such lenses may either be fashioned from glass or plastic. They refocus light so that it is properly filtered through the eye.

For optometrists certified to perform minor eye surgery, surgical optometry equipment is needed. Some optometrists perform corrective procedures with laser technology, in which a device known as a microkeratome cuts into the eye, allowing an excimer laser access. This laser can then reshape eye structures like the cornea. Optometry equipment for removal of a foreign substance could also prove useful, such as needles and sharp-tipped devices called eye spuds.

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