Your eye health is our primary concern at EyeContact. The first step to preserving eye health is a detailed, comprehensive eye examination. There is no pain or discomfort associated with a typical eye exam, and most exams take less than an hour.
Comprehensive Eye Examination
A comprehensive eye examination consists of a series of tests designed to gather data and observe the health of the eyes to ensure that there is no development of eye diseases. In addition, the doctor will work with you to arrive at a prescription, if necessary, for your most comfortable and clear vision.
Yearly comprehensive eye exams can diagnose a variety of eye conditions and are the best way to preserve good vision. Many eye diseases have no symptoms at all, and patients might go years without knowing that damage is occurring. Early detection and treatment are the keys to preventing the permanent loss of vision.
The AOA recommends that the first comprehensive eye examination, including dilation of the pupils with eye drops to examine the peripheral internal structures of the eyes, should occur at age 1, and then again at ages 3 and 5, if no problems are detected. This is a much more extensive examination than that received by your child at the pediatrician’s office.
Patients age 5 and older should receive a yearly comprehensive eye exam, even if they do not wear any glasses or if their vision seems not to have changed.
Patients with special circumstances, like the presence of diabetes, high blood pressure, or with a history of eye diseases in the family, might require exams more often than yearly.
A typical eye examination might include:
Paperwork: Sorry, there is just no way around it. Arrival a few minutes before your appointment time, with your medical insurance and vision plan cards, will make sure your appointment time is not delayed.
Pretesting: The technician will ask you a few questions and gather a variety of preliminary data using various instruments and techniques, including numerical data obtained with computerized and automated instruments, and even visual field testing, pressure testing and detailed retinal imaging. The data will assist the doctor with your care.
External and Internal Physical Exam: The doctor will use a microscope and other specialized tools and lenses to examine all the visible parts of the eyes and eyelids, including the internal structures in the back of the eyes. A binocular indirect or monocular direct ophthalmoscope can be used to visualize the peripheral retina and ensure there is no progressive pathology.
Neurological Evaluation: The doctor will test the eye muscles responsible for keeping the eyes properly aligned. Alignment issues often are the cause of headaches and poor visual performance in adults, and may lead to the development of “lazy eye” in children, a condition where the misaligned eye is never able to achieve 20/20 vision later in life. Often a misaligned eye is not detectable to the parent or casual observer. Also, the doctor will observe how the pupils respond to light to ensure that there are no troubling signs of neurological problems with the eyes or visual system in the brain.
Best Corrected Visual Acuity: The doctor will present a number of different lenses as the patient gives feedback about the clarity and comfort of the vision through the lenses presented. This process cannot be duplicated with an automated instrument, because only you can see out of your own eyes. Through this process, called Subjective Manifest Refraction, the patient’s prescription is determined. The best prescription is one that gives comfortable, functional vision, and the patient’s intended use for the glasses must be considered, along with the raw data obtained through the Refraction.