Here at EyeQue, we care about eyes, because having healthy eyes and clear vision plays a big part in our everyday life.
While a fair number of us visit an eye doctor annually or every two years, many of us do not understand what eye doctors do during routine eye exams. Many of us go with one goal in mind: to obtain a prescription for our glasses or contact lenses.
Why do you need an eye exam?
With the help of our friendly local optometrists, we’re here to give you some important points. Depending on which state you live in, some of the exam details may vary slightly.
Your eye doctor performs a number of different health and vision exams. During an annual exam, your doctor will:
- screen for neurologic problems by checking your eye movements and pupillary reaction. Pupillary reaction is how quickly your eyes constrict and dilate.
- check binocular vision, which is how your eyes team up and work together.
- test your visual acuity and refractive error. Remember covering one eye and reading the letters of the eye chart, and then sitting in a contraption and answering “which one is better, 1 or 2” several times? These tests tell your eye doctor how clear your vision is for far away and up close targets, and whether or not you need a prescription to see more clearly.
- check accommodative ability by testing how well your eyes can focus up close
- check eye pressure, using one of several methods such as a puff of air or blue light test. This is one of the ways your doctor screens you for glaucoma.
- test your peripheral vision, AKA visual field testing. Again, there are several ways to test the peripheral vision. Oftentimes optometrists administer this test by asking you to look at a target on a screen straight ahead of you and click a button when you see flickering lights or squiggly lines off to the side.
- inspect your ocular health of your eyes on the surface. This includes eye lids, eye lashes, cornea, conjunctiva and sclera, iris, and the anterior chamber. Your eye doctor inspects at these parts under the microscope to ensure that your eyes are healthy.
- inspect your ocular health on the interior of your eyes. Your eye doctor may dilate your eyes for a closer inspection on the interior contents of your eyes. The interior ocular health inspection focuses on the back surface of eye, including lens, vitreous, retina, blood vessels, and the optic nerve. Depending on what the doctor sees, taking additional pictures of the back of your eye may be recommended.
During an eye exam, your eye doctor regularly screens for many diseases that can be easy to miss until symptoms become severe and irreversible. Some of these diseases include diabetes, high blood pressure, eye tumors, eye infections, dry eyes, glaucoma, macular degeneration, retinal detachment, and more.
So while you may think you only go the eye doctor to get an updated prescription or to order new glasses or contacts, there are many critical health reasons to see your doctor at least every two years. Now, when was the last time you visited your eye doctor?