Routine Eye Care
Why do I Need an Eye Exam?
Keeping your eyes healthy is an important part of maintaining your overall wellness. As we age, vision loss or impairment may interfere with a person’s physical and financial abilities as well as have an emotional impact on their quality of life. Healthy vision ensures you can see your best while participating in daily activities such as reading, driving, cooking, playing sports, or working at the computer.
Getting regular eye exams helps you to see as clearly as possible while monitoring for any signs of disease. Many eye diseases, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy, do not have obvious symptoms until it’s too late, when vision loss has already occurred. A comprehensive eye exam can help in the early detection of diseases, thereby, preventing or limiting vision loss to begin with.
An additional benefit of comprehensive eye exams is that they also aid in discovering other health problems such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
How Often do I Need an Eye Exam?
Your optometrist or ophthalmologist will recommend how often you need an eye exam. However, it is generally recommended healthy children and adults should get an eye exam every two years. Adults over 65 and those who have certain conditions such as diabetes should get a yearly eye exam.
What to Expect During a Comprehensive Eye Exam?
During a comprehensive eye exam, our optometrists will take a detailed patient and family medical history as well as perform a variety of tests to determine your vision and the health of your eye including:
- Visual acuity- Uses an eye chart to determine how clear you see at different distances
- Refraction- Determines what prescription your glasses or contact lenses should be in order to improve nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism
- Ocular Motility/Eye Movement- Checks whether both eyes are moving together properly
- Pupil Assessment- Checks to see how well the pupils respond to light
- Slit Lamp Exam- Uses a microscope to evaluate the eyelids, the surface of the eye, iris, cornea, and the lens
- Pupil Dilation- Allows the doctor to see inside the eye to evaluate the retina and optic nerve
- Tonometry- Measures eye pressure; aids in diagnosing glaucoma
If a medical eye condition or disease is discovered during your comprehensive eye exam, then a medical eye exam, and possibly specialized testing, will be required.
What Common Refractive Errors Affect Your Vision?
- Nearsightedness- Also known as myopia, nearsightedness is when you can see close objects clearly but have difficulty seeing objects in the distance. This occurs when light is focused in front of the retina rather than on the retina.
- Farsightedness- Also known as hyperopia, farsightedness is when you see distant objects clearly but have difficulty seeing objects that are close. This occurs when light is focused behind the surface of the retina.
- Astigmatism- This is when the cornea is shaped more like a football rather than a sphere. As a result, light gets bent, or refracted, incorrectly.
- Presbyopia- As we age, particularly after the age of 40, our eyes are unable to focus properly due to the hardening and thickening of the lens. This causes light to focus behind the surface of the retina, making close objects appear blurry.
All of these refractive errors can be corrected with the use of prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. If contact lenses are chosen, a contact lens fitting will be required. Our Vantage EyeCare divisions have a wide selection of contact lenses to choose from and have several optical shops where you can browse eyeglasses. For those who prefer a more permanent solution, laser vision correction such as LASIK can be performed.