COMMON EYE ISSUES
- Dry Eye
- Diabetic Retinopathy
- Macular Degeneration
- Ocular Hypertension
At Framed Eyecare and Glasses we are here to help with regular eye exams and assess your overall health and how it affects your eyes. Eye and vision examinations are an important part of preventative health care. A comprehensive eye and vision examination may include but is not limited to the following tests listed below. Individual patient signs and symptoms, along with the professional judgment of the doctor may affect the type of testing done.
A patient history helps to determine any symptoms the individual is experiencing, where and when they began, and the presence of general health problems. Environmental and occupational conditions may also affect vision. Medications taken are an additional factor. The doctor will inquire about vision and eye issues you may be having and about your overall health.
Who should get an eye exam?
Everyone should get an eye exam. Regardless of your age or physical health, an annual comprehensive eye exam helps detect any eye problems at their early stages when they are most treatable. The American Optometric Association recommends a first comprehensive eye exam at the age of 6-12 months. If you are healthy and you have no symptoms of vision problems, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends having a complete eye exam at age 40 when some vision changes and eye diseases are likely to start.
What about eye exams for children?
Children may have their first eye exam at six months of age to ensure that their eyes are developing normally. After this initial visit, we recommend that children have a second eye exam every year or at least by the age of 2 or 3, and then again before they start school. It is important to tell your doctor if your child has a failed vision screening conducted by their school or pediatrician.
Many times, children do not complain of vision problems simply because they do not know what “normal” vision looks like. This can lead to vision ailments going undetected for longer than necessary. While school vision screenings are valuable, they can still miss hyperopia (far-sightedness) and binocular vision (eyes not teaming together), both of which make it difficult to read up close or at mid-range. If your child performs poorly at school or exhibits a reading or learning problem, be sure to schedule an eye examination to rule out an underlying visual cause.
What should I expect at an eye examination?
In a comprehensive exam, our doctor will check for vision problems and eye diseases such as glaucoma and cataracts. You’ll be asked about your overall health, family medical history, and any medications you take.
To test the sharpness of your vision at a distance and up close, you’ll read letters from an eye chart. Other tests will check your 3D vision, peripheral (side) vision and color perception. Shining a small light into your eye, the doctor will observe your pupils and eye muscles. A magnifier will allow her to better view the structures of your eyeball.
Sometimes we will use medicated eye drops to dilate your pupils so he can examine the blood vessels and nerves in the back of your eye. If you need your vision to be clear immediately after your appointment, you can ask the doctor not to dilate your pupils.
Finally, the doctor will test for signs of glaucoma, either by directing a puff of air at your eye or using a device that briefly touches the surface of your eye. Neither method causes any pain or lasting discomfort.
Vision Screening vs Eye Exam. What is the difference?
Also commonly referred to as an “eye test,” is for children. Vision screenings are brief examinations that look for potential vision problems and disorders. Often, they are performed by a primary care provider and do not require vision insurance. As its name suggests, vision screenings are simply that—screenings. They are not used to diagnose or treat vision problems, just merely detect them.
An eye exam is a series of tests performed to evaluate your vision and ability to focus on and discern objects done by an eye care specialist. Eye exams play an important role in overall health. A comprehensive eye exam can also help your doctor detect signs of health issues such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes and an eye care specialist will be able to recognize the signs.
What are the different eye tests?
Retinoscopy: The retinoscopy test helps your eye doctor get a good approximation of your eyeglasses prescription. For retinoscopy, the room lights are dimmed and an instrument containing wheels of lenses (called a phoropter) is positioned in front of your eyes. You are then asked to look at an object across the room (usually the big “E” on the wall chart or screen) while your doctor shines a light from a hand-held instrument into your eyes from arm’s length. Concurrently, your doctor flips different lenses on the phoropter in front of your eyes.
Refraction: The refraction test determines your exact eyeglasses prescription. The doctor puts the phoropter in front of your eyes during a refraction test and shows you a series of lens choices. He or she then asks you which of the two lenses in each choice (“1 or 2,” “A or B,” for example) make the letters on the wall chart look clearer.
Autorefractors and aberrometers: Your eye doctor may use an autorefractor or aberrometer to help determine your glasses prescription. With both devices, a chin rest stabilizes your head while you look at a pinpoint of light or other images.
Cover test: While there are many ways for your eye doctor to check how your eyes work together, the cover test is the simplest and most common. During a cover test, the eye doctor has you focus on a small object at distance and then covers each of your eyes alternately while you stare at the target. The eye doctor observes how much each eye has to move when uncovered to pick up the fixation target.
Slit-lamp examination: The slit lamp (biomicroscope) is an instrument that the eye doctor uses to examine the health of your eyes. In order to thoroughly evaluate your eyes for signs of infection or disease, the slit lamp gives your doctor a highly magnified view of the structures of the eye, including the lens behind the pupil.
Tonometry (glaucoma testing): Tonometry is the name for a variety of tests that can be performed to determine the pressure inside the eye. Elevated internal eye pressure can cause glaucoma, or vision loss, due to damage to the sensitive optic nerve in the back of the eye. Since glaucoma is often the result of an increase of pressure inside the eye, these are important tests for ensuring the long-term health of your eyes.
The most common method used for tonometry is the “air puff” test – where an automated instrument discharges a small burst of air to the surface of your eye. Based on your eye’s resistance to the puff of air, the machine calculates the pressure inside your eye – called your intraocular pressure (IOP). Though the test itself can be startling, nothing but air touches your eye during this measurement and there is no risk of eye injury from the air puff test.
Pupil dilation: Your comprehensive exam may include the use of dilating drops, which enlarge your pupils so your doctor can get a better view of the internal structures in the back of the eye. Dilating drops usually take about 20 minutes to start working. When your pupils are dilated, you become sensitive to light, because more light is being received by your eyes. You may also notice difficulty reading or focusing on close objects. These effects can last for up to several hours, depending on the strength of the drops used.
Dilation is very important for people with risk factors for eye disease because it allows for a more thorough evaluation of the health of the inside of your eyes.
If you have any questions or concerns about your eye and eye exams please feel free to contact us during office hours direct or via email.