Ever wonder about the instruments used in a comprehensive eye exam?
Look no further, we are here to give you an introduction to the amazing technology
that we use to keep your peepers healthy and seeing clearly.

Using the autorefractor to measure a prescription

Using the autorefractor to measure a prescription


The KR8000P Autorefractor is one of the first tests to be put to use during a routine appointment. We almost always do this to be 100% sure we have an accurate baseline of your prescription for Doctor Nichols or Doctor Schmitt to start from. It works by setting your chin and forehead on the AR (Auto Refractor) and looking straight ahead at a picture of a little house in a field. This is measuring how light focuses on the back of the retina.

This machine also does corneal topography, which is a measurement of the surface of the cornea, resulting in a digital map. You can actually see the high (darker areas) and low areas.


After the Autorefractor test, the results will be put into the phoroptor. This is what the doctor will use to determine your prescription for glasses or contacts. You’ll be looking through the phoropter’s lenses at the eye chart, which will be on a screen on the opposite end of the room. The doctor will ask which lenses allow you to see best through the phoropter.

Visual Field Test

During your routine exam, we will do a screening of your visual field, with a quick test to measure your peripheral vision. If we have any concerns, we will use the visual field analyzer, which can give us very specific information of any loss in your field of vision. This includes not only your peripheral vision, but the entire field, including the central parts of your field of vision. It’s most commonly used for conditions such as glaucoma, rheumatoid arthritis (Plaquenil), and macular degeneration.

An automated test of peripheral visual field in a reproducible and internationally recognized format. 

Plaquenil: A medication used to treat lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)

Optical Coherence Tomography is similar to an ultrasound for the eyes. It measures the layers of tissue in and around the macula area and the optic nerve. The process is simply a matter of looking at a snowflake on a screen and blinking. Easy!

We use it to test for and monitor macular degeneration, glaucoma, and other conditions.

The OCT can also measure the thickness of your cornea (a pachymetry reading), which is important when considering LASIK surgery, and also for diagnosing glaucoma. The thickness of the cornea is important to know in relation to glaucoma, because you will naturally have a higher pressure inside your eye if you have a thick cornea. It’s like the difference between the pressure you need to inflate a car tire, versus a party balloon. Thick or thin corneas are not necessarily better than one another, but it’s important to know which you have.

Optomap Image

The Optomap is a large device that takes an image inside the retina. A tiny camera takes a picture of the inside lining of your eye, with an extremely brief flash that lights up the entire inside of the retina. This process is repeated for the opposite eye. The process is painless and only lasts a few seconds. The result is a digital image that covers a 200-degree angle inside the eye.

The optomap’s biggest appeal for most patients is that it replaces the dreaded dilation of the eyes. The Optomap allows the optometrists the ability to see more of the interior of the eye, in greater detail, and without having to shine a bright light into a dilated eye. This also allows it to be used on patients as young as five years old.

By having a permanent digital image that we keep in your medical records, we can also directly compare the images over the course of several years, to see how, or if your eyes have changed.

(invented by a man whose son developed blindness at a very young age)


Our VisiOffice measures how you interact with your glasses: The way you hold things when you read, your eye dominance, how your glasses sit on your face relative to your eyes, and how you look through your glasses. It allows us to offer the latest optical technologies, and give us the most accurate measurements. The VisiOffice uses the same technology used in Hollywood for motion capture, by tracking the dots on a pair of glasses and reading material, and drawing conclusions on how you use the glasses.

Progressive lenses are used by people who need different prescriptions at different distances. There are hundreds of designs, and the VisiOffice allows us to customize the design in your lens, based on how your eyes interact with the frame you’ve chosen. It helps us give you the best possible lens. You can also visually compare four different frames on its computer interface.