What is an: Autorefractor

Autorefractor

Autorefractors are machines that automatically determine the correct lens prescription for your eyes.

If you've discovered you might need vision correction during your eye examination, it's vital to determine just how "much" your eyes need to be corrected with lenses or contact lenses. This is called measuring your "refraction."

Autorefractors automatically measure this value during an eye examination.

While seated with your chin in a stabilizing chinrest, you'll be asked to focus on an image or point of light. The autorefractor automatically determines the correction needed to place your "focus point" on top of the retina, the light-sensitive area at the back of the eye responsible for correctly processing images.

The measurement taken by an autorefractor can be translated into a prescription for eyeglasses.

In eye exams for small children, or for people with special needs who may have trouble sitting calmly during an extended exam, or verbally describing their vision problems – autorefractors give highly accurate measurements used to determine vision correction needs, automatically.

How do autorefractors work?

Autorefractors only take a few moments to determine each measurement for each eye. What's more, autorefractors are quite reliable and are sometimes used in conjunction with a machine called a phoropter to manually switch lenses in front of your eyes to provide ideal vision correction.

The information seen here is for reference purposes only and is not intended as medical advice or to diagnose or prescribe any specific treatment(s). For all questions and concerns about your vision, eye health and potential eye problems, please consult an eyecare professional.

Special thanks to the National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, for source material that aided in the creation of this website. Visit the NEI/NIH website.

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