What is a Phoropter?


If you’ve ever had eye exam (and we hope you have), you might have wondered about that large, intimidating piece of equipment that you always sit behind and look through. Here is everything you might want to know about the phoropter, one of any eye doctor’s favorite tools.

eye-doctor-phoropterWhat is a phoropter— To put it simply, the phoropter (also known as a refractor) is an awesome tool. Originally invented in the 1900s to measure refractive errors in addition to the traits of binocular vision (how well your eyes work together), the tool continued to improve and grow in size until until it became what it is today— an invaluable, but still very large vision assessment tool.

How it works— A phoropter contains slightly different lenses that are used for refraction of the eye during vision exams to measure an eye’s refractive error and determine the correct prescription. The patient sits behind the phoropter and looks through the lenses at an eye chart. The eye doctor will change the lenses and settings and ask the patient which look clearer or better, then continue to adjust the lens power based on the patient’s input as to which look clearest. Phoropters also assess Heterophorias (the natural resting position of the eyes) and accommodative amplitudes, among other things.

Fine-tunes your prescription— Some patients can get pretty sick of being asked the same question—“Which is better, one or two?”—over and over again, but the torture is not in vain! The phoropter ultimately ensures that your eye doctor is able to fine-tune your prescription in order to help you see as close to 20/20 vision as physically possible!

You’re only able to receive a perfect prescription due to your eye doctor and the phoropter! Book your appointment with your Valley Eyecare Center optometrist. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule online today.

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