You might ask yourself, do I need an annual eye exam even if I have crystal clear vision? The answer is yes! It’s important to be proactive with taking care of your eyesight, especially when you are young and healthy. Regular appointments with your eye doctor will help identify any changes in your eyesight and solutions to correct vision problems, so you can continue living life to the fullest.
Why Are Annual Eye Exams Important?
Many vision problems go undetected for long periods of time because symptoms can range from being discreet to highly noticeable. When vision problems are not detected and addressed in a timely manner, they can lead to larger health complications down the road if they escalate.
Eye exams also play a larger role in the overall health of your body, not just your eyesight. An annual eye exam can help detect serious health conditions, including diabetes, thyroid disease, and high blood pressure, that you may not have been aware of. When such health conditions are diagnosed during the early stages, your eye doctor can help create a more effective treatment plan to either correct the condition or adapt your lifestyle to it.
How Often Should You Get An Eye Exam?
It’s recommended to get an eye exam at least once a year, especially over the age of 40, when the risk for vision problems and other health conditions increases. Some individuals that are at a higher risk are advised to get an eye exam more frequently. Your optometrist will help you determine the frequency of eye exams that are best for your situation.
What To Expect At An Eye Exam
When getting your first eye exam administered, your optometrist will first ask you questions regarding your medical history, family health history, medication usage, and other standard questions. It’s essential that you are completely honest with your optometrist so they can properly diagnose and treat your symptoms.
This is also the time to ask your eye doctor questions! The independent optometrists in or next to Visionworks will answer your questions thoroughly so you will have a clear understanding of what tests are to be administered and why, and the value they will add to your vision and eye health.
Depending on what the optometrist decides is necessary during your visit, they may administer various tests and utilize different instruments to obtain results. Continue reading for more details about the eight types of eye exams that can be performed.
Eye Muscle Test
An eye doctor will conduct this test by asking you to follow a moving object with your eyes, typically a pen or a light. This test specifically looks for the movement of the muscles that control your eye and helps to identify any weaknesses, delay, and difficulty with control or coordination.
The visual acuity test will measure how clearly you are able to see using the Snellen chart - a highly recognized chart with letters that range from very visible to small the farther down you progress. The eye doctor will ask you to recite aloud the letter they point at using one eye only (both will be tested separately).
A common test to be administered during a routine eye exam, refraction tests help eye doctors determine the prescription needed for eyeglasses or contact lenses using a device that resembles a mask (which sits against your face). The eye doctor will refine the prescription by testing varying levels that provide you with the clearest vision.
If you have 20/20 vision, then you can see clearly. However, this test will be able to identify if you have a refractive error in your vision that can cause nearsightedness (myopia) and farsightedness (presbyopia), among other more serious vision problems.
Visual Field Test
This test will measure your peripheral vision and how well you can see from your periphery without moving your head or eyes. It is not invasive nor is it painful, and it can be administered manually or automated using flashing light technology.
The color vision test will measure how well you can decipher colors using a dot-pattern test that is multicolored. If you do happen to have difficulty seeing colors, you will not be able to clearly see the different patterns in the multicolored dots.
This test is administered using a microscope that shines a bright line of light into your eye and magnifies it for the eye doctor. A colored dye called fluorescein may also be used during this test to catch any inconsistencies or damage to the cells. This test is intended to inspect the outer portion of the eye (eyelids and eyelashes), along with the cornea, iris, and fluid chamber between the two.
A retinal examination is a test that allows the optometrist to clearly examine the back of your eye using a light. In order to accomplish this, eye drops will be distributed that will cause the pupils to dilate. Once the pupils are dilated enough, the optometrist will shine a light into your eye and examine the retina, optic disk, and the choroid.
For this test, the optometrist will perform a tonometry to measure the intraocular pressure (fluid pressure) inside your eye and test for glaucoma. Glaucoma is a serious health condition that can cause severe eye pain, nausea, and sudden disruption to your vision making it difficult to see.
At Visionworks, we have made it easy to schedule an eye exam online in just a matter of a few clicks! You will have the option to meet with your favorite optometrist or a new eye doctor, as well as choose a day and time that is flexible with your schedule. Schedule an eye exam near you and bring the whole family in for a visit. Visionworks is your one-stop shop for all vision correction solutions!
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By Gibbs Gardens
Photographs courtesy of Gibbs Gardens
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