Annual eye exams are recommended for everyone. At NOVA Optique + Eyecare, located in Ballston, Arlington, not only do you get an updated prescription of your eyeglasses, but you will also get a thorough examination of the health of your eyes. Our optometrist will make sure you can see clearly, check for any ocular or systemic diseases, and recommend the best lenses for you. Here's what you can expect when you come in for an exam at our office:


Before the optometrist sees the patient, the optometric technician will perform a few preliminary tests on the patient that take a few minutes:

  • Autorefractor: The autorefractor is a test that allows the doctor to get an estimated prescription. The patient looks at a picture that goes in and out of focus and a very rough estimate of the prescription is determined.
  • Non-Contact Tonometer: The NCT measures the intraocular pressure of the eyes with a gentle puff of air. As the name suggests, this will not touch the eyes.
  • Optos 1200x800Optos: The Optos is used to take digital photos of the retina. These photos will give the doctor a more widefield view of the retina and be able to check for certain ocular diseases. This also allows for documentation of any conditions of the eyes, so they can be compared annually for any changes. Our optomerist believes that the Optos adds so much value to the exam that it's included in all our annual exams.


Topcon CV 5000S 751x563 ee29644Once the preliminary testing is completed, the patient sees the optometrist for their comprehensive exam. The eye exam is broken down into two parts, the refractive part and the health evaluation portion. During the refractive part of the exam, the optometrist will determine the correct prescription for the patient. She will use the autorefractor findings as a starting point, and then fine-tune the prescription with a phoropter. At NOVA Optique + Eyecare our optometrist uses a digital phoropter, which allows her to determine an accurate prescription at a safe distance.

Haag StreitBQ900SlitLamp 1566480341 resizedDuring the ocular health evaluation portion of the exam patients are screened for ocular diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts, in addition to systemic diseases like hypertension, diabetes, and hypercholesterolemia. The optometrist uses a biomicroscope to look inside the eyes. If everything is normal during the comprehensive exam, the patient will be seen in a year. If the patient is diagnosed with any ocular or systemic conditions they will return for a follow up or will be referred out to a specialist if necessary.


For those patients who choose to wear contact lenses or it is medically necessary for them to wear specialty contact lenses to see clearly, a contact lens evaluation will be indicated. During the contact lens evaluation not only does the optometrist determine the precise prescription (since it is not the same as the glasses prescription), but she also checks the fit of the contact lenses on the eyes to make sure they fit properly and do not have a negative impact on the health of the patient's eyes. In the state of Virginia contact lens prescriptions need to be updated every year.


IMG 6706The fun part comes after our optometrist has updated the glasses prescription, picking out your frames. Our frame stylists are here to help through the process of choosing the best frames and lenses for you. Not only is it important that you love the way you look in your new glasses, but our frame stylists will make sure you see well through them. They will walk you through which lenses are best optimized for your individual lifestyle and prescription, making the process a lot easier for you.

Everyone should have an annual eye exam, even if they have no ocular or visual complaints. Eyes are great indicators of overall health and in some cases may show signs of systemic conditions, such as diabetes or hypertension before they can be detected in a physical. Schedule your annual eye exam at our Ballston location in Arlington.