Comprehensive Eye Exams – What to Expect
- Posted on: May 23 2012
If you haven’t seen your eye doctor recently, it’s time to
schedule a comprehensive eye exam.
Eye exams aren’t only necessary for correcting vision, but can help detecteye conditions and eye diseases that could lead to more serious health problems or permanent
During your comprehensive eye exam at Key-Whitman, we will evaluate your
eyes for a new prescription, but we will also check your eyes for eye
diseases and other eye conditions that could lead to vision loss. Be informed
about your eye exam prior to your appointment. Some of the conditions
we will look for include:
- Refractive errors – Refractive errors are the most common cause of vision problems and need
for eyeglasses or contact lenses. Nearsightedness, farsightedness and
astigmatism are examples of refractive errors. If you are diagnosed with
a refractive error, the refractive error can be corrected with eyeglasses,
contact lenses or vision correction procedures like LASIK.
- Eye diseases – It’s important that your eye doctor check the health of your eyes
for signs of eye diseases like glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. Many
eye conditions do not display any symptoms in the early stages, so you
may not notice a change in your vision until the disease has progressed.
Early detection and treatment of most eye diseases can reduce your risk
of permanent vision loss.
- Other health problems and diseases – Your eyes can display symptoms of many other health conditions. A thorough
exam of your eyes by a doctor can detect early signs of some conditions
including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes by looking
at the blood vessels in your eye and the retina. Diabetes can cause small
blood vessels in the eyes to leak and swelling of the macula, both of
which can lead to vision loss. These symptoms of diabetes may appear in
the eye before other symptoms of diabetes present themselves. Your eye
doctor could help detect diabetes before your primary care physician is able to.
Be prepared for your comprehensive eye exam and know what to expect before
you arrive for your appointment. Here are common eye and vision tests
you may undergo during your exam:
- Visual acuity test – Tests the sharpness of your vision using a projected eye chart to measure
your distance vision and a hand-held chart to measure near vision.
- Cover test – A simple test performed to check the vision in each eye individually.
This test could indicate strabismus or a binocular vision problem that
could lead to lazy eye.
- Retinoscopy – This test is used to help 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”)
a light will be shined into your eye, flipping lenses on a machine set
in front of your eyes. The way the light reflects off your eye will help
determine your approximate prescription needs.
- Refraction – A test used to determine precise prescription. A phoropter will be used
to show you a series of lens choices, asking you through which lenses
your vision is most clear. Your answers will help determine your exact
- Aberrometer or autorefractors – A quick and easy way for your doctor to determine your prescription.
This test uses wavefront technology to detect vision errors based on the
way light travels through your eye. While wavefront is commonly used in
LASIK vision correction procedures, many eye doctors are incorporating
the technology into routine eye exams.
- 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 tonometry test is used to measure the pressure inside your eye, which
is called intraocular pressure (IOP). Eye drops to numb the surface of
your eye are used when carrying out this test.
- 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.
Upon examination, your eye doctor may recommend a visual field test and
a color blindness test. It’s important to remember that a comprehensive
eye exam can help detect an eye disease in its early stage, which could
reduce your risk of permanent vision loss. An eye exam is nothing to be
apprehensive about if you know what to expect. Feel free to ask your doctor
any questions about specific tests during your exam.
When considering your eye care, be sure to stay up to date with the latest
news and information about our life-changing services at Key-Whitman Eye
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Posted in: Eye Exam