We ask that you rest your chin and forehead on a support to stabilize your head. An eye exam is safe, painless, and only takes about an hour of your time. It's beneficial to be proactive and have regular eye exams to help keep your eyes in good health. The slit lamp exam uses a tool that provides an enlarged three-dimensional (3D) view of parts of the eye.
During the exam, the doctor may look at the front parts of the eye. These parts include the transparent outer cover (cornea), the lens and the colored part (iris). The doctor can also see the front side of the thick liquid (vitreous gel) that fills the large space in the center of the eye. Once they are working, the ophthalmologist will re-examine you with the slit lamp, using a different lens to look at the back of the eye.
In addition, when the slit lamp is attached to a special magnifying lens, the doctor will be able to see the retina and optic nerve located at the back of the eye. Special lenses may be placed between the slit lamp and the cornea (or over the cornea) to help the doctor see the deeper structures of the eye. During the exam, the doctor will look through the microscope and adjust the light of the slit lamp to see certain parts of the eyes. After the slit lamp exam, your healthcare provider may tell you that your eyes appear to be healthy and that no disease has been detected.
Routine slit lamp exams are done to detect eye problems at an early stage and to guide treatment if eye problems occur. A slit lamp exam may be used to help diagnose conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, retinal detachment, and more. A slit lamp is one of the devices that your healthcare provider can use to check the health of your eyes.