Prioritizing Your Health: Why Eye Exams Matter

Posted By Key-Whitman Eye Center || 14-Nov-2014

Getting your eyes examined is about more than checking for 20/20 vision. Annual eye exams are a critical element of your overall preventative health care plan. A comprehensive dilated eye exam is often the most effective means of diagnosing eye conditions that could steal your vision if not diagnosed early and treated properly.

Getting your eyes examined is about more than checking for 20/20 vision. Annual eye exams are a critical element of your overall preventative health care plan. A comprehensive dilated eye exam is often the most effective means of diagnosing eye conditions that could steal your vision if not diagnosed early and treated properly.Getting your eyes examined is about more than checking for 20/20 vision. Annual eye exams are a critical element of your overall preventative health care plan.

A comprehensive dilated eye exam is often the most effective means of diagnosing eye conditions that could steal your vision if not diagnosed early and treated properly.Getting your eyes examined is about more than checking for 20/20 vision. Annual eye exams are a critical element of your overall preventative health care plan. A comprehensive dilated eye exam is often the most effective means of diagnosing eye conditions that could steal your vision if not diagnosed early and treated properly.

Eye conditions such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration may have no symptoms in the early stages, and can only be detected in an eye exam. When detected early, these eye conditions can be treated, reducing risk of vision loss.

Signs it’s time to get your eyes checked:

Although you should keep up with routine eye exams, there are some signs and symptoms to watch for that may indicate a need for an immediate appointment with your eye doctor. If you experience any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your eye care professional today:

• Decreasing or double vision
• Eye pain
• Red eye or eye drainage
• Diabetes
• Flashes or floaters
• Circles or halos around light

To understand how various eye conditions may affect your vision, check out the Key-Whitman eye condition simulators.

What to expect during your next eye exam

During your eye exam, your doctor may choose any combination of the following vision tests to check your vision and look for signs of serious eye conditions.

Visual acuity test: This vision test utilizes 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.

Color blindness test: Color blindness tests can detect both hereditary color vision deficiencies and can signal other eye conditions that might affect color vision.

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:A puff of air is used to calculate the intraocular pressure in your 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.

If you are due for a regular eye exam, contact Key-Whitman Eye Center to schedule an appointment today.

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