When was the last time you had your eyes checked? If you can’t remember,
call your eye doctor today to schedule a
comprehensive eye exam. Regular eye exams aren’t only necessary for correcting refractive
errors and vision problems; maintaining regular appointments with your
ophthalmologist can help detect
eye conditions and diseases that may lead to more serious health problems or vision loss.
If it’s been a while since you’ve seen your eye doctor, you
may be wondering what to expect. During your comprehensive eye exam with
the doctors at Key-Whitman
Eye Center, we will evaluate your eyes for glasses, and we will also check your eyes
for eye diseases and other eye conditions that could lead to vision loss.
Be prepared prior to your exam
When you schedule your appointment, notify your eye doctor’s office
of any vision problems you may be having. Because eye health and overall
health are often related, it’s important that you compile a list
of any medications you may be taking and be prepared to discuss your own
and your family’s health and eye health history.
What to expect during your exam
During your eye exam, you may undergo any combination of the following
common vision tests:
- Visual acuity test - This is perhaps the most well known vision test, utilizing
a chart with rows of letters decreasing in size, beginning with a large
E at the top. The visual acuity test will measure your distance vision
and near vision. With one eye covered, you will read each line of the
chart, continuing until you can no longer read the letters.
- Cover test - A simple test performed to check the vision in each eye individually,
as well as how well your eyes work together. This test could indicate
strabismus or a binocular vision problem that could lead to lazy eye.
- Retinoscopy - This test is used to help your eye doctor estimate your eyeglass
prescription. The lights in the room will be dimmed and you will be directed
to focus on a large target across the room. As you focus on that target
(usually a large “E”) your doctor will shine a light into
your eye, flipping lenses on a machine set in front of your eyes. The
way the light reflects off your eye will help your eye doctor determine
your approximate prescription needs.
- Refraction - Used to determine your precise prescription. Your doctor will
use an instrument to show you a series of lens choices, asking you through
which lenses your vision is most clear. Your answers will help your doctor
determine your exact prescription.
- Slit-lamp exam - A biomicroscope is used to give your doctor a magnified
view of the inner and outer structures of your eye to detect any eye health
problems or signs of infection or disease.
- Glaucoma test - Most glaucoma tests are now performed by numbing the eye
and using a Tonopen, a small pen-like instrument with a read-out, to determine
the pressure of the eye. High eye pressure is a sign of glaucoma.
- Pupil dilation - Dilating drops are used to enlarge pupils, allowing your
doctor to get a better view of the internal structures of your eye. Following
this exam, your eyes will be very sensitive to sun and light, and you
may find it difficult to focus on objects up close. Effects of pupil dilation
can last several hours, so be sure to bring a dark pair of sunglasses
to wear on your way home.
- Visual field test - Used to detect potential blind spots in the eye due
to eye diseases like glaucoma. A visual field test can also be used to
identify areas of brain damage caused by a stroke or a tumor. Visual field
tests are done if the patient is suspect of glaucoma or a glaucoma patient.
Other patients with pathological conditions like Lupus will have this
testing to look for effects from certain medication.
What to expect after your exam
Depending on the results of your exam, your doctor may prescribe prescription
eyeglasses. Ask your doctor about alternative vision correction options,
such as LASIK laser eye surgery. If your doctor detects any eye conditions
or problems with your eye health, you should expect follow up instructions
and perhaps treatment.
If you are due for a regular eye exam,
contact Key-Whitman to schedule an appointment today.