What is the first test we do when you come into the office for a complete vision exam?
We take a measurement of your vision with the AutoRefractor.
When you take a seat at the autorefractor, we ask you to look into the device. You will see a blurry hot air balloon at the end of a long straight road. As the balloon comes into focus, we measure your prescription.
We ask you to focus on the image (balloon) to keep your eye centered while we take measurements. It only takes just a few seconds to measure using an autorefractor. The balloon is at the center of the image, which aligns your eye perfectly for the test.
When we use this machine, nothing touches your eye, and there is no puff of air!
The autorefractor provides an objective measurement of a person’s refractive error and prescription for glasses or contact lenses. The device measures how light is changed as it enters your eye.
We don’t use the numbers from the device to order your prescription glasses or contacts. The autorefractor is just part of the process. The information from the autorefractor is used as a starting point to determine your best prescription. We take these numbers and dial them into the phoropter.
Here is where your opinion comes in. As we cycle through lenses, we ask, “Is it Better 1 or Better 2?” Your responses help us to pinpoint your best vision. When we show you different choices, we aren’t trying to trick you! We are showing you different options to find your best correction.
Why do we use a balloon photo?
The image isn’t important, but the need to focus on something at a distance is key to a good measurement. The balloon is just one of many visual targets used in the autorefractor. Besides the hot air balloon, other popular images include: a pinwheel/peppermint candy, a house (or barn) at the end of a road, a house in the middle of a field.