Comprehensive Eye Examination
The Comprehensive Eye Examination
Just like having yearly physical exams can help ward off problems with your health before they start, getting your eyes examined regularly is an important part of keeping your eyes, and your vision, as healthy as they can be. Even if your vision seems perfect and you are not having any apparent problems, you should eye exams at age 40. This exam can pick up any signs of very early eye disease and give you the best chance of retaining your vision, as treatment can be started early in the disease process.
Of course, if you are younger than 40 and have diabetes, high blood pressure or a family history of eye disease, you’ll want go ahead and schedule your baseline eye exam as soon as possible. As you get older, your chance of developing eye disease becomes greater, so if you are age 65 or older, be sure to have an eye exam every year or two to screen for age related eye diseases such as AMD (age related macular degeneration), cataracts and glaucoma. After you have your exam, your eye doctor will recommend how often you should be re-examined based your exam results.
The comprehensive eye exam includes testing for:
Visual acuity – You will be asked to read an eye chart to test how well you see at various distances.
Intraocular pressure – This test is done with an instrument called a tonometer (say toe-NOM-e-ter), which measures the pressure inside your eye. An elevated pressure reading is a sign of glaucoma. Glaucoma is a disease that can sneak up on you, so it is important to have the pressure in your eyes checked every time you come in. This test is done by using a pressure sensitive tip placed lightly on the surface of your eye. Numbing drops are used for your comfort.
Refraction – This test will determine the strength of prescription lenses to correct your vision, if needed. You will be seated and asked to view an eye chart through a device with different lenses in it.
Dilation and examination – A drop or two of a medication in your eyes to dilate (widen) your pupils. This enables the structures within the eye, such as your retina, blood vessels and optic nerve, to be seen more easily. Your eyes may be light sensitive for a few hours after the drops are put in your eyes.
Our eye physicians may recommend further specialized testing depending on the results of your comprehensive exam. For example, if the doctor suspects you might have macular degeneration, an OCT (optical coherence tomography) may be performed. The OCT is a machine which scans the retina and is able to provide very detailed images of your retina and macula.
Our eye physicians, Dr. Hatch, Dr. Switzer and Dr. Cross, offer comprehensive eye exams for our patients. Call today for an appointment. We will be delighted to serve you!