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Are You Due for Your Annual Eye Exam?

Patient sitting in exam room testing their vision with glasses machineEye Exams in Bismarck, Rugby, and Linton, North Dakota

Whether you need corrective lenses or are overdue for your annual checkup, you can trust the optometrists at the Dakota Eye Institute to give you the care you need. We offer a comprehensive approach to eye care at our facilities and take pride in providing quality services.

Our highly trained professionals will be on the lookout for any signs indicating an underlying eye condition and make sure that your vision remains as clear as possible.

We’ll recommend the best corrective lenses for your eyes and make sure you receive proper treatment for any conditions we may detect. Schedule your eye exam by calling the Dakota Eye Institute at 1-800-344-5634. We’ll direct you to the location nearest you!

Types of Eye Exams

  • Visual Acuity Tests – A visual acuity test measures the sharpness of your far and near vision by determining the smallest letters you can read on a standardized chart 20 feet away, and a card held 14 inches away.
  • Color Deficiency Test – This is a brief test used to rule out color deficiencies. It involves looking at colored objects against a different colored background. Patients with normal color vision will view the number differently than someone with q color deficit.
  • Cover Test – During this test, you must focus on a distant object while your eyes are alternately covered. By looking at each eye’s movement, your eye doctor can identify an eye turn which could indicate conditions such as “lazy eye” or poor depth perception.
  • Child’s Eye Exam – It is recommended that children recieve their first eye exam at 6 months to check for general eye health, any near or farsightedness or astigmatism. The child should have another exam at age 3 and again at age 5 or 6 before they enter school.
  • Retinoscopy – This is often one of the first tests performed by Dakota Eye Institute. It gives the eye doctor a general idea of whether you may need an eyeglass prescription.
  • Refraction – This is part of the eye exam that is used to obtain an accurate prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses.
  • Slit Lamp Examination – The slit lamp exam is used to examine the front of your eye. It allows the doctor to detect changes to the eyelids, cornea, iris, and lens.
  • Tonometry or Glaucoma Test – Glaucoma may not present any symptoms until you experience significant vision loss. This test is done to indicate any risk for glaucoma.
  • Visual Field Test – A visual field test is done to check your central and peripheral (or side) vision, as well as detect signs of damage to the eye from various eye diseases, like glaucoma. It allows the doctor to measure your entire scope of vision.
  • Dilated Eye Exam (Diabetic Eye Exam) – You will be given eye drops so that the doctor can better see the back of the eye. You may feel stinging when they are first placed and you may have a metallic taste in your mouth. The doctor will then look through a magnifying glass using a bright light to see the areas of the eye that may be damaged by diabetes.
  • Other Eye Tests – In some cases, besides these common tests performed during a standard comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor may recommend other, more specialized eye tests. Often, such tests are performed by other eye doctors, such as retinal specialists, on a referral basis.

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Maintain the health of your eyes by visiting Dakota Eye Institute

Regular eye exams are an important part of your overall health. Dakota Eye Institute in Rugby, Linton and Bismarck, ND can review your overall eye and vision health with a number of simple tests.

Eye Tests in Bismarck, Rugby & Linton, North Dakota

  • Visual acuity testPatient looking into eye machine
  • Visual field test
  • OCT test
  • Cover test
  • Color deficiency test

See what we can do for you by reaching out to Dakota Eye Institute today.

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Patient receiving eye exam with doctor flashing light in her eyeGet Your Eyes Checked at Dakota Eye Institute

Do you know what to look out for when it comes to signs of eye disease? We do. The optometrists at Dakota Eye Institute have extensive experience diagnosing and treating a number of eye problems. If we find any signs of potential problems, we’ll recommend an effective solution to improve your vision and eye health. Get in touch with Dakota Eye Institute to schedule your appointment. Make an Appointment

  • Cataracts A cataract is a cloudy area in the lens of the eye. A normal lens is clear. It lets light pass to the back of the eye. A cataract blocks some of the light. As a cataract develops, it becomes harder for a person to see. Cataracts are a normal part of aging. About half of Americans ages 65 to 74 have cataracts. About 70 percent of those age 75 and over have this condition.
  • LASIK Surgery LASIK is a surgical procedure that is capable of correcting a wide range of nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) and astigmatism. LASIK has been performed internationally for approximately 10 years, and was first performed in clinical trials in the United States in 1995. It is now the most commonly performed refractive procedure in the United States. Long-term studies indicate that LASIK is safe and effective.
  • Diabetic Retinopathy If you have diabetes mellitus, your body does not use and store sugar properly. Diabetes can cause high blood-sugar levels, excessive thirst and urination. It can also cause changes in the body’s blood vessels, the veins and arteries that carry blood throughout your body.Because diabetes affects your body in these ways, it can affect vision by causing cataracts, glaucoma and, most importantly, damage to blood vessels inside the eye.
  • Glaucoma Glaucoma is an eye disease in which the normal fluid pressure inside the eyes slowly rises, leading to vision loss or even blindness.
  • Eyelid Repair This information can help you decide what to do if you need eyelid repair. Talk to your eye care professional so you can make the choice that is right for you. For total eye health, your eyelids need to be as healthy as your eyes. Common eyelid problems include excess eyelid skin, droopy eyelids, or eyelids that turn inward or outward. These problems not only affect eye health, but also your appearance. They can cause eye discomfort, and even limit vision. Fortunately, these conditions are correctable by surgery.

Mother holding their infantInfantSEE® Program

Dakota Eye Institute is proud to be a participant with the InfantSEE® program. Dr. Thomas Samson and Dr. Michael Ranum provide the InfantSEE program assessment at no cost to the patient.

The InfantSEE® assessment offers early detection of potential eye and vision problems as a complement to the eye screening conducted in a pediatric well-care visit. A comprehensive assessment between the ages of 6 months and 12 months is recommended to determine healthy development of vision. Risk factors for many eye conditions, including amblyopia (often referred to as lazy eye), muscle imbalances, and some ocular diseases, have no signs or symptoms and may not be detected in a well-baby check-up. Such pediatrician visits include care and services performed by all personnel and last an average of 22 minutes, which is ample time for screening and detecting potential large-scope health problems. However, significant risk factors for eye and vision disorders are not detectable by base-level infant eye screening, and even early retinoblastoma, the seventh most common pediatric cancer, is detected more than 80 percent of the time outside the doctor’s office by a family member or friend. Learn More


Although infants cannot speak, optometrists have the clinical education, training and experience, as well as the instruments and resources, to provide non-invasive eye and vision assessments for any non-verbal patients such as infants. Additionally, volunteer InfantSEE® optometrists have access to additional AOA training in working effectively with babies – and parents.

During the assessment, parents might hold the baby on their laps or on a lap pillow and might also assist by holding targets or toys to hold the baby’s attention. Optometrists will gauge the babies’ comfort levels with specific techniques and adjust them as necessary, but will typically evaluate visual acuity, refraction, motility, alignment, binocularity and overall eye health. As detailed below, these tests will determine signs of strabismus, amblyopia or diseases of the eye.

  • Visual Acuity/Refractive Status – Assessments for visual acuity and refraction are largely intended to measure for nearsightedness or farsightedness – common risk factors for amblyopia, which develops when an otherwise healthy eye has not received adequate use during early childhood. Nearsightedness or farsightedness in an infant’s developing eye can cause the brain to favor seeing through one eye, suppressing vision in the other eye, which can lead to permanent vision impairment.Because the traditional eye chart with letters or symbols cannot be used with infants, assessment of visual acuity may include tests to ensure that the infant can fix his eyes on an object and follow it. Tools such as gray cards with various sized stripes or pictures may be used to determine at which objects the baby prefers to look, and at what distances. The doctor may also use lenses and light from a small hand-held instrument to assess how the eye responds to particular targets. Some doctors use photographic testing to analyze the pupil reflex in the photo. In many cases, the infant may have some degree of refractive condition not requiring intervention.
  • Ocular Motility/Alignment/Binocular Potential – Assessments for motility, alignment and binocularity can determine the presence of strabismus, which occurs when one eye does not aim at the same object as the other eye. Strabismus can lead to amblyopia, if undetected, or may indicate a number of ocular diseases.These assessments also measure eye coordination, which is the ability of both eyes to work together as a team to create one three-dimensional image in the brain. Good eye coordination, a skill that is not innate and must be developed, keeps the eyes in alignment. Later in life, poor eye coordination can make reading for extended periods of time difficult and may result in avoidance of detail work, such as writing or art work, poor reading comprehension and clumsiness.Using very simple instruments, such as penlights, finger puppets or toys, the optometrist tests the eye’s ability to move by getting the baby’s attention and observing how the baby follows the movements of the object. By shining a penlight toward the baby’s eyes, the doctor can gauge eye alignment, which is straight if the light is reflected in the center of both eyes. The optometrist can also assess a baby’s depth perception by using red/green glasses (commonly known as 3-D glasses), and displaying 3-D pictures. To a baby with good eye coordination, the pictures will appear in 3-D, and the infant will then reach to touch the picture.
  • Overall Eye Health – The optometrist will assess the eye’s external structure as well as eyelids, tear ducts and other parts of the eye. Often, the optometrist can detect existing allergies from an external assessment.Pupil function is then checked, followed by an examination of the inner eye through dilated pupils, which can also detect ocular diseases such as retinoblastoma, the seventh most common pediatric cancer.

Following the assessment, in addition to sharing findings with the parents, the optometrist may send summary information to the infant’s pediatrician, family physician or other appropriate practitioners reporting and explaining any significant condition diagnosed in the course of the assessment. Contact Us