An autorefractor is a machine that is controlled by a computer and helps in measurement of refractive error of a person’s eye. The eye is examined and a person’s visual activity is closely monitored in this process. Autorefractor has been used by doctors since 1970s and have been the best ophthalmic diagnostic device for most of the ophthalmologists. This device is used to see how the activity of the eye changes when light enters any person’s eye. After the refraction error is identified properly the doctor prescribes contact lenses or glasses to patient.
The technique of automated refraction is very simple, painless and quick. A cycloplegic is applied as it keeps ciliary muscles relaxed and makes the diagnosis of pseudomyopia much easier. The patient needs to sit and place the chin on the rest in front of them. They need to look at some picture in the machine and the doctor focuses on single eye at once. The picture keeps moving in and out of the patient’s focus and the autorefractor keeps reading the changes in the retina as the picture moves. After taking several readings the autorefractor averages the total readings and provides the result to the doctor to help them form the prescription. The readings are completed within seconds and the patient gets an accurate measurement for his eye. This reading can be printed out in the prescription or electronically shared through the system.
Generally after taking the readings the patient need to go through an examination where they look at different pictures and tell the optometrist whether the images are fuzzy or clear. Several lenses are tried by the patient to accurately determine the strength of their prescription. This process is generally difficult in small children and people who face any type of developmental disability. In this type of cases autorefractor is the best solution and everything is determined depending on the light refraction. The best thing about examination by autorefractor is that dilation of pupils is not required but small children find it tough to stay still.
Since children find it tough to remain still scientist found another technique to make the process easy. They developed portable devices that were easy for children to adjust themselves. The optometrist could also adjust easily and accommodate small children while examining them. Autorefractors have changed the way ophthalmologists conducted their examinations and promise great future for eye examinations. It also gives the optometrist an option to perform preliminary examination of the eye for those people who face difficulty in going to the doctor’s chamber. There are many mobile clinics that conduct eye examinations, even they can ask for this device to make corrective lenses for patients.
Along with this there have been some variations developed in traditional devices. There is the aberrometer which is the advanced version of autorefractor and can easily examine the refraction of light from multiple views. Some other new forms of examination have been developed and helped in getting effective results for the patients. Many doctors combine wavefront analyzers and corneal tomography with autorefractors to speed up the eye examination process. Since these devices are new they are not used by all the optometrists.