ARE REGULAR EYE EXAMS REALLY THAT IMPORTANT?
Yes! Anyone who has struggled with vision loss knows how precious good eyesight truly is. Regular eye exams protect your sight by...
- Detecting serious diseases: Some eye diseases such as glaucoma can steal your vision without any tell-tale symptoms alerting you to the problem. Regular eye exams are often the only way to detect these stealthy diseases before they permanently damage your vision.
- Evaluating your eye health: An eye exam can determine conditions such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia. Once these conditions are diagnosed, steps can be taken to restore your best possible vision.
- Revealing your overall health: Eye exams are a great way to keep tabs on what is happening in your body. By evaluating the health of the blood vessels in your eyes, doctors can learn a lot about your overall health.
No matter how young or old you are, regular comprehensive eye exams are an important part of protecting your clear vision.
WHAT DOES A COMPREHENSIVE EYE EXAM INCLUDE?
You may be surprised to learn that a comprehensive eye exam involves more than reading letters and numbers on an eye chart. Don’t worry—this type of eye exam is non-invasive and perfectly comfortable for both adults and children.
To perform some of the tests, the doctor will need to examine the eyes’ internal structures. Adults may be given eye drops that dilate (enlarge) the pupils of your eyes so the doctor can see inside. The goal is to determine some or all of the following:
- How well your eyes work together
- How your pupils react to light
- The size of the smallest print you can read on an eye chart
- The condition of the exterior of your eyes and eyelids
- How light reflects from your eyes
- Your exact lens prescription
- The condition of your cornea, iris, and the front inside of the eye
- The condition of structures at the back of your eyes, such as the retina and its blood vessels, the optic nerve, and the vitreous (the jelly-like substance that fills the inside of the eye)
- The pressure inside your eye
- The thickness of your corneas
- The scope of the area you can see without moving your eyes
It takes time to gather this information. You should allow at least 30 to 60 minutes for your appointment.
If your eyes are dilated, they will still be more sensitive to light than usual when you leave the office after your eye exam. It’s a good idea to bring sunglasses (and perhaps another driver) with you.