Comprehensive Eye and Vision Examination
It’s important to be actively involved in your own eye health. It’s easy to think that your vision is fine, but even if you’re not experiencing an obvious problem seeing, it’s possible to have a long-term problem that hasn’t shown symptoms yet. The best way to be sure is by scheduling a periodic eye and vision exam with your doctor. Numerous factors contribute to your eye health, and the following tests and procedures will help determine if you’re at risk for problems.
Providing a baseline for your examination, your health history will help the doctor identify any problems you may currently be having as well as being aware of your overall health. It’s important for us to know about other health issues you have, any medications you’re taking, environmental considerations which could affect your vision, and your family medical history to assess the likelihood of genetic factors which could affect your eye health.
When you think of a vision test, what most likely comes to mind is the visual acuity test. This test is the classic reading of charts at specified distances to determine your eyes’ ability to make out detail. These tests are expressed in the familiar fraction form: normal vision is written as 20/20, for example. In essence, the number means that objects which should be seen clearly at 20 feet actually are seen at 20 feet. If your vision was listed as 20/40, it would mean that you have to stand at 20 feet to clearly see an object which should be seen at 40 feet. Visual acuity varies from eye to eye, so it’s possible to see, for example 20/20 in the left eye and 20/30 in the right.
General testing evaluates various elements of eye health such as depth perception, accuracy of color perception, the ability of the eyes’ muscles to operate correctly, pupil response to changing light conditions, and peripheral vision function.
Keratometry measures the curvature of the eye’s clear outer surface, called the cornea. It’s useful in diagnosing the individual shape of each eye, especially for the purpose of fitting contact lenses.
Electronic refraction provides a fast, comfortable means of testing your vision. The process takes only about five minutes but tests every available lens combination to accurately determine what type of corrective vision you require.
A phoropter works by having you view an eye chart through the device, which is digitally controlled. As different lens combinations are presented, you tell us which ones provide better vision until the correct combination is arrived at. The benefit of the phoropter’s digital control is that adjusting comparisons between lens combinations happens very quickly and can also be compared against your current prescription lenses to determine the amount of improvement you’ll see.
The test relies on your feedback to us, as you’ll be asked whether each new combination of left and right corrections improves your vision. As the test progresses, it may become difficult to distinguish between two similar lens combinations, but that’s actually an indicator that we’ve found the appropriate range of correction, and a final combination can be chosen based on your input and our recommendations. We’ll use the electronic refraction test results in combination with your symptoms and overall examination to identify the best options.
Please be sure to bring your current glass in at the time of your examination so that we can scan your lenses for use in the phoropter examination. It’ll help us and you make a more accurate comparison between them and your new prescription.
Eye Focusing, Eye Teaming, and Eye Movement Testing
Accurate vision depends on many factors, including how well the eye moves and tracks its subject, the accuracy of binocular vision and how well the eyes focus. Assessing any problems with these factors will help in accurately treating them.
Eye Health Evaluation
One critical measure for vision health is eye pressure through a process called tonometry. Elevated pressure in the fluid is a potential sign for glaucoma risk. Expressed in millimeters of mercury, normal pressure ranges from 10 to 21. Any number above this range is regarded as an indicator of increased risk for developing glaucoma, although glaucoma can occur in eyes within the normal range.
Along with tonometry, a thorough external eye evaluation includes the condition of the eyelids, cornea, and surrounding tissues to inspect for any potential problems. The lens, retina, macula and optic nerve are typically examined by dilating the pupils and viewing them under magnification.
Following your eye exam, we’ll evaluate the results and discuss treatment plans for any eye or vision problems you may have. Treatments may include corrective lenses or non-surgical or surgical procedures to correct vision problems. We may provide referrals for consultation if your diagnosis warrants the attention of a specialist or requires certain surgical procedures.
As always, the best defense of your vision and eye health begins with being informed. Please don’t hesitate to speak with us about your concerns or questions regarding your vision.