Comprehensive Eye Exam
Having a regular eye exam is essential to check that your eyes are healthy and to protect your eyesight. These exams allow your eye care practitioner to detect changes in the front of your eye so that alterations can be made to your glasses or contact lens prescription. However, your eye care practitioner also needs to look at the back of your eye, the retina, to check that it is healthy. Many eye conditions, if detected early enough, can be treated successfully without total vision loss.
Eye exams can uncover both eye conditions (eg. Age Related Macular Degeneration, glaucoma) and other systemic (entire body) problems (eg. diabetes, hypertension, and risk of stroke). If detected early enough, treatment can be given to prevent any problems from getting worse.
The most common eye condition is refractive error (the need to correct the vision of the eye with glasses). The three most common refractive errors are myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism (an uneven curvature of the cornea that causes a distortion in vision).
Presbyopia, which is the age-related loss of accommodation (resulting in the need for bifocals), starts between the ages of 38-45 years.
Complete Eye Exams
The technicians and the doctor will record your vision to attain your absolute best vision with glasses. Your exam includes an intraocular pressure for glaucoma and a retinal exam (you will need to have your pupils temporarily dilated with eye drops for a thorough exam or have a picture taken of the retina). Any abnormal findings will be discussed with you and all your questions will be addressed. If needed, you will leave with a prescription for new eyeglasses and medication if indicated. You will also be given an appointment for additional testing if any findings warrant it or for an annual eye exam.
As part of your complete exam, you will be measured by a computerized machine and then at the phoropter in the exam room to obtain the exact prescription you need for clear (distance and near) vision. This final measurement will be written in a prescription form for you to get eyeglasses.