A comprehensive eye examination means doing a series of tests to check your vision and overall eye health. Since most eye diseases are asymptomatic therefore one should have periodic eye examinations to detect any early signs. Eye examinations are critical for early detection and treatment of glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts and diabetic retinopathy.
When do get eye examination done?
Even if there are no known eye problems,
- School-age children should get their eyes screened every 2 years.
- Those between 20-30 years of age should go for eye examination every 4-5 years.
- Those in their 40s, 50s and 60s should have vision checked every 2-4 years.
- After 65 years of age get eye health check-ups every 1-2 years.
If one wears glasses, have a family history of eye diseases or suffer from any chronic illness like diabetes, then get eye examination done more frequently.
Who performs eye examination?
There are three types of eye specialists – optometrists, ophthalmologists and opticians.
Ophthalmologists are doctors who specialize in medical and surgical eye problems.
Optometrists are healthcare professionals who can examine, diagnose, manage and treat eye diseases, injuries and disorders.
Opticians are independent professionals who prescribe and supply glasses or contact lens.
What will happen during eye examination?
You’ll be asked questions about your medical history and vision problems. After this, a series of tests are conducted to check your eye health.
Questions asked by eye specialist to seek information on vision problems, medical & family history
- What eye problems are you facing now?
- Have you had any problems in the past?
- Do you wear eye glasses/contact lenses?
- Any chronic health problems you currently have or had in the past?
- Are you taking any medications?
- Do you have allergy to medications, food or any other substance?
- Anyone in your family facing from eye diseases like macular degeneration, cataract etc.?
- Anyone in your family having chronic illness like diabetes, heart troubles etc.?
Tests conducted during eye examination
- Eye muscle movement test – You’ll be asked to follow a moving object (like pen or light) with your eyes. Doctor will observe your eye movements to examine the strength and coordination of eye muscles.
- Visual acuity test – You’ll be asked to identify different alphabets on a printed chart or screen placed at some distance. This is to measure sharpness or clarity of your vision.
- Refraction assessment – Eye specialist will use computerized refractor to check your prescription for contact lens/glasses
- Color vision testing – You’ll be shown several multi-colored dot-pattern tests and will be asked to identify numbers or shapes within the dot pattern. This is to check for color deficiency or color blindness.
- External examination is done to observe response of your pupils to light.
- Retinal examination is done to evaluate the back of your eye including retina, optic nerve disk and underlying layer of blood vessels. First, doctor will put some eye drops to dilate the pupil of your eyes and once pupils are enlarged, he will shine a beam of light through the eyes to make evaluations.
- Glaucoma screening is done by checking the fluid pressure inside your eyes either using a tanometer which touches the front surface of each eye or putting a puff of air onto the eye. This is done after numbing the eyes with eye drops.
How to get the most out of your eye examination?
- Consider the doctor you want to see based on your specific eye troubles. Consult experts on the best doctors in your area.
- Take a prior appointment for at least half to one hour.
- Gather all your previous records.
- Make a mental note of symptoms that bother you.
- Relax and cooperate when the doctor is examining you.
- Ask questions to clarify your doubts.
- Carry your contact lens/glasses with you for the appointment.
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