Yearly eye examinations are just as important as regular check-ups for the rest of your body. Not every eye disease or problem has symptoms or signs, and therefore it’s easy for a problem to go unnoticed and undiagnosed. As with anything, health related, the sooner the problem is diagnosed, the sooner treatment or correction can begin. Maintain or achieve good vision and eye health by getting scheduling regular preventative appointments.
When you come in for your adult eye and vision exam, you can expect for your doctor to perform the tests and exams listed below. Other tests may be necessary according to the signs and symptoms that the doctor notices during your visit.
By completing a patient history form, you give the medical staff treating you an indication of what they should be looking for during the examination. They’ll know all of the medications you are taking, symptoms you may be experiencing, and any environmental or occupational conditions that could be affecting your vision. Your overall health can make a difference in your vision, so your doctor will want to know about other medical conditions and family history, as well.
Before you see one of our optometrists, there are several tests that must be performed. Stereoacuity tests are done to assess a patient’s depth perception. Blood pressures are taken and blood sugar levels are checked with all diabetic patients. Northeast Eyecare uses a top of the line machine that assesses intraocular pressure (sometimes referred to as the “Glaucoma Test”), keratometry, (the curvature of the front surface of your eyes) and refraction (an estimation of your prescription that the doctor uses as a starting point while refining your prescription). Lastly, we check your visual fields (this determines the sensitivity of vision in your periphery).
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. The top number in the fraction is the standard distance at which testing is done, twenty feet. The bottom number is the smallest letter size read. A person with 20/40 visual acuity would have to get within 20 feet of a letter that should be seen at 40 feet in order to see it clearly. Normal distance visual acuity is 20/20.
Refraction tests are conducted to determine the appropriate lens power needed to compensate for any refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism). The power of the eye, estimated by our auto-refractor, is then refined by your responses to determine the lenses that allow the clearest vision. This testing may be done without the use of eye drops to determine how your eyes respond under normal conditions, but in some cases, eye drops are used to keep your eyes from changing focus while testing is done.
Eye Health Evaluation
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, but if you prefer not to be dilated, Optomap testing is a great option.