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Comprehensive eye exams are vital for your eye health and vision.  It is important to have an eye exam even if you believe your eyes are healthy because some eye diseases do not cause symptoms. These include glaucoma, which is a serious eye condition that can result in blindness.

If you have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, you have and increased risk of eye disease and vision loss.  Regular eye exams prevent or diagnose problems early before they become serious. Eye exams can also help doctors diagnose other health problems such as high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, and headaches.

What happens at a Comprehensive Eye Exam

At your exam, your eye doctor will check your vision and examine your eye health looking for any signs of eye disease.  This process usually takes about one hour and does not hurt. You will be asked basic questions about your medical and eye health history to better understand your eye needs.

Tests performed during the exam include:

Visual Acuity: The doctor uses a chart with letters in rows (ranging from large to small) to test how well you see at a distance and at near.  Each eye will be tested alone and then both eyes will be tested together.  The smallest row of letters you can see will indicate your visual acuity.

Visual Field: During this test you will cover one eye at a time.  While looking straight ahead, you will identify objects in your peripheral vision.  This is a screening test for glaucoma and other eye diseases.

Pupil Assessment: The size and shape of your pupil will be measured as well as how your eyes react to light.

Eye muscle health and mobility: During this test you will be asked to follow a moving object, such as a pen or light, to assess your ability to move your eyes and track an object.

Color Vision: You will look at a series of numbers embedded within colored dots and patterns.  Your ability to see these numbers indicates if you have a color deficiency.

Depth Perception: During this test you will be asked to put on a special pair of glasses and look at symbols within a special book.  This test will analyze how well your eyes work together as a team to focus on objects in space.

Cover Test: You will focus on an object and an eye paddle will be quickly placed and removed over one eye at a time to determine how your eyes are aligned.  Abnormal eye alignment can cause headaches and fatigue.  This exam will detect a strabismus (eye turn).

Tonometry: This test measures the pressure inside your eyes.  A quick puff of air or a gentle touch with a sterilized instrument measures this fluid pressure.  This test does not hurt but the anticipation feels strange.  Elevated eye pressure can be a sign of glaucoma and other eye diseases.

Refraction: An instrument known as a phoropter, which has interchangeable lenses, will be placed over your eyes and you will focus on a chart at a distance and then at near.  The doctor will change the lenses and ask you which one makes the chart clearer. This test will determine if you need glasses and/or contacts.  For younger children that do not know their letters yet, a procedure known as Retinoscopy will be performed that will indicate their glasses prescription without them saying anything at all.

Ophthalmoscopy: Your doctor will examine the inside of your eyes with lights and a magnifying lens.  In order to get a comprehensive view of the inside of your eye a dilating eye drop will be placed on your eyes to open your pupils for a better view. The doctor will check for cataracts, view your retina (the tissue in the back part of your eye), and monitor conditions such as diabetes and macular degeneration.

During the examination please ask your doctor any questions about your eye health and vision. Please call today to set up your comprehensive eye exam.

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