Why Regular Eye Exams Are Important

It’s highly important for people of all ages to have eye exams on a fairly regular basis in order to detect any problems like Glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts or diabetic retinopathy.

Children generally need their vision checked around 6 months old, 3 years old and before first grade. These types of eye exams should be completed during preventative pediatrician visits with a pre-school eye screening. After age 60, adults should really visit the eye doctor at least every two years.

Typically, before an eye exam, a staff member will take your medical and vision history to give the doctor some background. Eye exams generally take between 30 minutes to an hour. The purpose of these exams is to evaluate the health of your eyes as well as your vision.

There are numerous tests that can be done during an eye exam including but not limited to:

Eye muscle movement tests: This examines the muscles that control eye movement to look for any weakness or lack of control.

Color tests: Some people have poor color vision and don’t even know it. This test involves several multicolored dot-patterns. If a person has color deficiency, it will be difficult to see certain patterns within the dots.

Pupillary reactions: Pupil testing can uncover possible problems with your autonomic nervous system.

Visual acuity test: This is the test that measures how clearly you see, one eye at a time, using a chart with lines of letters and numbers that get smaller and smaller.

Refraction testing: Having refractive error may mean you need some form of correction, like glasses or contacts. Light waves are bent when they pass through the eye. If these rays don’t focus perfectly on the back of your eye, you are diagnosed as having “refractive error”.

Retinal examination: Sometimes referred to as Ophthalmoscopy or funduscopy, this allows the doctor to evaluate the back of the eye. This is also usually why the patient’s eyes get dilated. The purpose of the dilation is so that the pupil doesn’t get smaller when the light is shined in the eye.

Visual field test: This measures the full extent of what you can see to the sides, without moving your eyes.

For more information on eye exams, or to schedule your next appointment, click here!

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