A phoropter (compare with Phoroptor: a trademarked name by Reichert for their range of phoropters) is an instrument commonly used by eye care professionals during an eye examination, containing different lenses used for refraction of the eye during sight testing, to measure an individual's refractive error and determine his or her eyeglass prescription. Typically, the patient sits behind the phoropter, and looks through it at an eye chart placed at optical infinity (20 feet or 6 metres), then at near (16 inches or 40 centimetres) for individuals needing reading glasses. The eye care professional then changes lenses and other settings, while asking the patient for subjective feedback on which settings gave the best vision. Sometimes a retinoscope or an automated refractor is used to provide initial settings for the phoropter.
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