In general, if you're healthy and have no symptoms of vision problems, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends having a complete eye exam at age 40. This is when some vision changes and eye diseases are likely to begin. After the screening tests, your eye doctor can suggest how often you should have future eye exams. At the end of the exam, you and your doctor will discuss the results of all tests, including evaluating your vision, risk of eye diseases, and preventive measures to protect your vision.
If corrective lenses are needed, your doctor will prescribe them. If the eye exam shows abnormal results, your doctor will discuss next steps to perform further tests or treat an underlying condition. A normal eye exam shows no evidence of any disease, such as macular degeneration, cataracts, or glaucoma. The eye doctor will check that the outer structures of the eye, such as the sclera (white part) and the iris (colored part), look normal.
The ability to distinguish between multiple colors is also a normal result. The peripheral vision test assesses whether the patient can see things to the side. To determine your exact prescription, the doctor or technician can adjust the prescription manually by asking you to answer questions such as Which is better? , one or two? while moving back and forth between different lenses. If you don't need vision correction, you won't have this test.
This checks if the fluid pressure inside the eyes is within the normal range. Anesthetic drops will be placed in your eyes before a technician barely touches the front surface of each eye with an instrument called a tonometer or Tonopen, which measures pressure. This is a quick and painless part of the exam. Pachymetry can be used in patients who have (or are suspected of having) glaucoma or corneal disorders; this test uses an ultrasound to measure the thickness of the cornea.
People with a higher risk of eye diseases or vision problems may need to have their eyes examined more often. There are several factors that can determine how often an eye exam is needed, such as age, health status, and risk of developing eye problems. Emergency eye care is needed if you have an eye problem that causes pain or affects your vision. A routine (or comprehensive) exam uses a wide variety of tests and procedures to evaluate vision and eye health.
When focusing on a small object at a certain distance, a technician will cover and uncover each eye to see how much the eyes move. An optometric exam involves a thorough evaluation of the eyes to detect any signs of eye disease and evaluate any changes in vision. Dilating the pupils with eye drops before the exam prevents the pupils from getting smaller when the doctor illuminates the eye. If you can't see in certain areas, looking at the pattern of visual field loss can help your eye doctor diagnose your eye condition.
If you're going to see a new eye doctor or if you're going to have your first eye exam, be prepared to ask questions about your vision and general health history. Your eye doctor will likely use several instruments, illuminate your eyes with bright lights and ask you to look through a variety of lenses. It allows them to perform a thorough examination of the structures of the front and back of the eye.