How a Complete Eye Exam Is Performed
While we’d all love to have 20/20 vision, the reality is most of us don’t. And, when this is the case, we need to get our eyes checked to make sure there are no major issues we should worry about. When you get your eyes checked, you will have a complete eye exam. However, if you don’t know what to expect during your comprehensive eye exam, you might feel a bit stressed out.
We’re here to guide you through what happens during an eye exam and what to expect. Let’s dive in!
How the Standard Eye Exam Is Performed
We perform a standard eye exam in a fairly straight forward method. To help you know what to expect, let’s take a look at how doctors perform a standard eye exam.
Review Your Medical History
Before you can get started with an eye exam, you’ll need to go through your medical history with your doctor or his staff. We will ask you questions about your overall health and will check your visual acuity using correction or without correction. By knowing your family history, we’ll be able to adjust your vision screening to check for any vision problems that might be hereditary. That way we can be sure we’re helping you out in the best way possible to ensure your eyes are healthy.
From there, we’ll do a confrontational visual field test to see if you have a normal field of vision. We also check the pressure of your eye to make sure that you aren’t developing glaucoma.
Glaucoma Screening Test
After the technician has gathered general information, we’ll do a glaucoma screening test on your eyes. To do this, the Technician releases an air puff on the surface of the eye while you stare at a light source. An alternative technique for this measurement uses drops and an instrument without a puff of air.
Perimetry Test ( Complete field of vision testing)
Next, you’ll need to go through a perimetry test. This test checks your field of vision to detect defects in your visual field that can potentially be caused by very serious medical conditions. Medical conditions can range from droopy eyelids to brain tumors. This is only done if there is a medical indication to perform the testing.
One of the more well-known tests that the technician will perform is a cover test. In this test, your technician will check your eye muscle ability to control your eye movement. During this test, you’ll have to look at a focal point while alternately covering and uncovering one eye at a time with a hand held patch. This will allow the examiner to check how well your eyes muscles control eye movement and maintain binocular vision , and depth perception problems.
A refraction test will determine your best corrected vison with a new eyeglass prescription. If a new prescription improves your vision you will be given a new eyeglass Rx. During this test, the doctor will flip several lenses in front of your eye and ask you to let them know which provides you with the clearest vision. The lens that works best for you is the lens that your prescription will include. Refraction tests are additional $30.00 when you are receiving a medical eye exam and are only done if you require or request a new eyeglass prescription on that day. The refraction is included in your routine vision care exam but is not covered by most insurances for medical eye exam.
Slit Lamp Exam
After your refraction test, the doctor will do a slit lamp or biomicroscope exam. This test lets your doctor look at each part of the eye under a magnifying lens. During the test, the doctor will look at your iris, cornea, eyelids, retina, macula, and more. This will help him or her rule out any potential eye diseases that you might have or be at risk for.
The last part of a comprehensive eye exam if indicated involves putting eye drops in your eyes to dilate your pupils. This allows the doctor to look at the inner structures of your eyes easier, and to make sure that you’re not at risk for any dangerous diseases. All diabetic patients should be dilated annually to get the largest possible view of the Retina to check for Diabetic complications. After diabetic eye exams are completed, a report is sent to your PCP or Endocrinologist.
From there, you’ll be able to take your lens prescription out to the Optical or anywhere you want and choose your favorite glasses! The Optical Staff will help make sure that your chosen frames work for your prescription lenses.
Why and When Should I Schedule an Eye Exam?
Scheduling an eye exam is important for many reasons. It can help you identify disease early on and to make sure that you’re not at risk for developing any major eye problems later in life.
There are a few major signs that can indicate it’s time for you to schedule your eye exam. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should make an appointment for an eye exam:
- You haven’t had an eye exam for at least a year
- You notice flashes of light or spots in your vision
- You have red, dry, or itchy eyes
- You have diabetes, glaucoma, or another disease that affects your eyes
- It’s hard for you to see street signs or to drive in the dark
- You get blurry vision, headaches, or eye strain after looking at screens for an extended period of time
- You squint to read newspapers or books
- You hold books or magazines farther from your face in order to read them
- You notice changes in your vision
Any of these signs can be indicators that it’s time for you to head to the eye doctor. The sooner you do so, the easier it will be for you to avoid major issues with your eyes.
How Often Should the Average Person Get an Eye Exam?
In general, adults should get a complete eye exam every year. Once a medical diagnosis is present they’ll need to see the eye doctor once a year or sooner if indicated by any existing eye diseases or sudden changes in vision. Contact lens wearers need annual eye exams to maintain use of contacts no matter what their age is. Young children should receive screening test at pediatrician office and a complete eye exam with an eye doctor before starting any form of school, This includes kindergarten. Once in school exam should be yearly.
If children or adults are experiencing headaches, blurred vision, or any other eye problems, you can take them to the doctor for an eye exam right away. This can help rule out any major eye problems.
What Type of Information is Uncovered During an Eye Exam?
During the exam, there is a large amount of information that doctors uncover. All that information has to do with your health. For one, eye exams can help uncover certain types of cancer. They can help you get ahead of these health issues early on and can make sure you get any issues treated before it becomes a real problem.
On top of that, eye exams can help identify high cholesterol, thyroid issues, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, and more. Because doctors uncover so much health information through an eye exam, regular checkups are important.
What Part of My Vision Is Tested During an Eye Exam?
During an eye exam, doctors test many different parts of your vision. For one, we will check your peripheral vision. This helps doctors measure how well you can see in your peripheral field of vision.
You’ll also be checked to see whether you are nearsighted or farsighted. This helps doctors better understand what type of prescription you will need in order to correct your vision. What’s more, our doctor will run confrontational visual field testing. This helps you understand how large your field of vision is and if you have any issues with your eyesight.
What are the Different Types of Eye Exams?
There are three main types of eye exams that you might undergo. These include a comprehensive eye exam, Medically focused eye exam and a contact lens exam. A comprehensive eye exam is a full check of your eyes. These exams take a look at both the inner and outer workings of your eye and involve a series of tests. The main purpose of this exam is to determine whether or not you need an eye glass prescription or there is a reason to do a specialized medical testing. Medically focused eye exams are when a medical diagnosis is already present and may require specialty testing as we track progression of a disease. Finally, a contact lens exam checks to see if your eyes are compatible with contacts and if a newer power or material is necessary. These are only necessary if you’d like to use contacts instead of choosing to wear glasses.
What Diseases and Ailments Can Be Found During an Eye Exam?
An eye exam can uncover a lot more than simple health problems. When you visit an eye doctor for an eye exam, a few health problems your optometrist might uncover include:
- Brain tumors
- Cancers of the skin
- Giant cell arteritis
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Medication toxicities
- Multiple sclerosis
- Myasthenia gravis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Sickle cell disease
- Sjogren’s syndrome
- Thyroid disease
- Vascular disease
- Vitamin A deficiency
These are just a few of the many diseases and ailments that can be uncovered during your eye exam. Your optometrist may let you know about a number of other diseases or health concerns that your eye exam reveals. The optometrist might recommend glasses or contact lenses based on their findings.
Know What Goes Into a Complete Eye Exam
With this guide, you’ll have a much better understanding on what a complete eye exam is and how it can help your health. It’s important to be prepared so that you can identify potential eye problems early on and avoid potential dangers later in life.
Now that you know what to expect, you’re ready to get started with your own eye exam. Schedule your exam today, with Dominion Eye Care!