We provide thorough eye exams using the latest technology, but we also take time to listen to your needs and explain your options. Routine eye exams include:
- Physical eye health exam. The external and internal parts of the eyes are examined using special instruments like a slit lamp biomicroscope, binocular indirect ophthalmoscope and special focusing lenses. Your pupils may be dilated with eye drops for some of these tests.
- Refraction. This test determines your eyeglass or contact lens prescription and we perform precise measurements in several different ways to determine the lens formula that will work best for you. Instruments used include a computerized autorefractor, phoroptor and retinoscope, but an important part of prescribing lenses is for the doctor to understand how you use your eyes at work and leisure.
- Binocular vision testing. We test your eye coordination to be sure your vision is comfortable and that your eyes work well together. This includes an analysis of the eye muscles used for movement, focusing and depth perception. If you have a problem with binocularity, your doctor may correct it with prescription glasses or vision therapy.
- Tonometry. This is one of several risk factors for glaucoma that we evaluate. It is a measure of the fluid pressure inside the eye. We offer several ways to do this test: 1) a new generation of air puff test that is very gentle and quiet, 2) Goldmann tonometry, which is a device with a blue light that shines at the eye, or 3) a tonopen which is a gentle probe that touches the cornea for a moment (after anesthetic eye drops are instilled).
- Visual field test. Every comprehensive exam includes a screening of your peripheral vision with a computerized autoperimeter. You click a hand-held button when you see small lights off to the side. It takes about 2 minutes per eye and it can help diagnose or rule out neurological disorders of the visual system.
- Retinal photography. A special camera takes a digital color photograph of the back of your eye. This test is recommended on a routine basis to provide your doctor with a baseline record of the appearance of your retina, internal blood vessels and optic nerve. It is also used to document diseases and anatomical abnormalities and monitor them over time.
- Macular Pigment Optical Density. MPOD is a measure of the risk for developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is a leading cause of blindness in the United States. This screening test measures the density of pigment cells in the macula and it is recommended for all patients age 30 and over. This test is evaluated along with 10 other AMD risk factors. Patients with a low macular pigment score may take nutritional supplements which will provide protection against macular degeneration and could even restore the pigment layer.
Why eye exams are important?
Routine eye exams are absolutely essential in not only maintaining clear vision but to also protect the health of our eyes. Eye examinations gives us an opportunity to detect and inform you about eye disorders such as glaucoma, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy, as well as reports on general health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. To allow proper treatment, early detection of eye is critical.
Who should get their eye examined?
Eye examinations are an important part of health maintenance for everyone. Adults should have their eyes tested to keep their prescriptions current and to check for early signs of eye disease. Eye exams for children play an important role in ensuring normal vision development and allowing for academic achievements that can be hampered by vision problems. Vision is closely linked to the learning process. Children with undetected vision problems often will have trouble with their schoolwork. Many times, children will not complain of vision problems simply because they don't know what "normal" vision looks like.
Why vision screenings are no substitute for Comprehensive Eye Exams?
Eye exams that are performed by a school nurse or your employer are not the same as a comprehensive eye exam given by a certified optometrist. An optometrist will screen your vision thoroughly for eye and other diseases that can lead to vision loss. Treating these complications early is an essential reason to visit your eye doctor on a regular basis. An eye exam is a series of tests performed by an optometrist assessing one’s ability to focus on and recognize objects within a field of vision as well as other tests and examinations related to the eyes.
What should you expect during a Comprehensive Eye Exam?
Since the eyes are a part of the body, they can be affected by seemingly unrelated health conditions. We must know about your general health and your medications including nonprescription medications prior to examination.
Preliminary testing may include evaluation of specific aspects of visual function and eye health such as depth perception, color vision, eye muscle movements, peripheral or side vision, and the way your pupils respond to light. External examination of the eye includes evaluation of the cornea, eyelids, conjunctiva and surrounding eye tissue using bright light and magnification.
Evaluation of the lens, retina and posterior section of the eye may be done through a dilated pupil to provide a better view of the internal structures of the eye. Measurement of pressure within the eye (tonometry) is also performed.
Visual acuity measurements evaluate how clearly each eye is seeing. As part of the testing, you are asked to read letters on distance and near reading charts. The results of visual acuity testing are written as a fraction such as 20/40.
Refraction is conducted to determine the appropriate lens power needed to compensate for any refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism). Using an instrument called a phoropter, our optometrist places a series of lenses in front of your eyes and measures how they focus light using a hand held lighted instrument called a retinoscope.
Assessment of accommodation, ocular motility and binocular vision determines how well the eyes focus, move and work together. In order to obtain a clear, single image of what is being viewed, the eyes must effectively change focus, move and work in unison. This testing will look for problems that keep your eyes from focusing effectively or make using both eyes together difficult. Evaluating the way your eyes work together and individually can tell us if the nerves and muscles controlling your eyes are working properly or require more investigation.
Additional testing may be needed based on the results of the previous tests to confirm or rule out possible problems, to clarify uncertain findings, or to provide a more in-depth assessment. Digital documentation of the front and/or inside of the eyes may be necessary if there are diseases or disorders that need to be reviewed and compared at a later date.
At the completion of the examination, your optometrist will assess and evaluate the results of the testing to determine a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan. He will then discuss the nature of any visual or eye health problems found with you and explain available treatment options. In some cases, referral for consultation with, or treatment by, another optometrist or other health care provider may be indicated.