Routine Eye exams are important because they detect vision problems, eye diseases, and general health problems before you are aware a problem exists. It is very important that you know that many eye diseases do not have symptoms and are irreversible. However, they can be prevented from progressing if caught early.
A comprehensive eye exam will consist of:
- A review of your personal and family health history and any history of eye problems
- Evaluation of your distance and near vision with an eye chart
- Evaluation of the presence of nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presybyopia
- Near vision testing to determine if you have presbyopia and need progressive lenses or bifocals
- Evaluation of your eyes’ ability to work together as a team
- An eye pressure test and examination of the optic nerve to rule out glaucoma
- Examination of the interior of your eyes to rule out other eye problems, such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
- Other tests may include a Color Blindness Test, a Vision Field Test, or any other specialized tests that the doctor feels necessary.
How Often Should I get a Routine Eye Exam?
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends a comprehensive eye exam every two years for adults ages 18 to 60 and annual exams for seniors age 61 and older. For “at risk” adults it is important to get annual eye exams. At risk adults include those with:
- A family history of eye diseases (glaucoma, macular degeneration, etc.)
- Diabetes or high blood pressure
- A visually demanding occupation or one that may pose hazards to the eyes
- Taking prescription or non-prescription drugs that may have visual or eye-related side effects
- Previous eye injuries or eye surgery
For children, it is recommended to have their first eye exam at 6 months old, then at 3 years of age and right before they enter 1st grade. Afterwards, children should be seen every two years if no vision correction is required. If the child is required to wear eyeglasses it is recommended to have annual eye exams, according to the American Optometry Association.
Who Performs Routine Eye Exams
At Atlantis Eyecare both our Optometrists and Ophthalmologists perform routine eye exams. Optometrists are trained specifically to diagnose vision problems and treat medical conditions of the eye using eye drops and other medicines, however they are not medical doctors and do not perform eye surgery.
At Atlantis Eyecare our experienced team of ophthalmologists and optometrists work together to solving every patients needs and giving you the best eye care possible.
Preparing for the Eye Exam
For your eye exam please bring a list of any prescription or non-prescription medications you are currently taking or any that you have taken on a regular basis in the past. Please include any vitamins, herbs, and other non-traditional remedies you may use. Please also include the dosages you take for each medicine or other substance, and how long you have been taking them.
If you currently wear corrective lenses, please bring all pairs of eyeglasses you wear routinely. If you wear contacts that were prescribed elsewhere, please bring a copy of your most recent contact lens prescription. In addition, your doctor may dilate your eyes so please bring sunglasses to wear for the ride home. If you forget to bring a pair, we will have a special pair for you to take home.
We also recommend you bring a list of questions or concerns that you would like to discuss with the doctor. And if you are interested in specialty services such as contact lens fittings or interested in LASIK please be sure to mention this – both when you schedule your eye exam and when you check in on exam day.
Lastly, please bring a copy of your vision insurance and/or medical insurance cards.
What Happens After Exam
If you are not seeing 20/20 the doctor will usually correct vision with glasses or contact lenses. However, if the doctor finds something in the exam that can indicate an eye disease they will conduct further testing and develop a treatment plan.