When it comes to eye health, it's essential to understand the difference between eye tests and eye exams. While both are important for maintaining good vision, they are not the same. Eye exams should be performed by a qualified eye doctor, such as an optometrist or ophthalmologist, while vision tests can be done by almost anyone using automated equipment. During an eye exam, the optometrist evaluates the internal and external health of the eyes.
This includes checking for any signs of disease or other abnormalities. The doctor will also ask about your medical and family history, as well as any current symptoms you may be experiencing. The exam includes a series of tests to evaluate vision and detect eye diseases. Your doctor may use several instruments, illuminate your eyes with bright lights, and ask you to look through a variety of lenses.
On the other hand, an eye test is used to determine the lens power required to correct vision. It does not take into account eye muscle coordination, pupil size, corneal or lens irregularities, patient movement and attention, or instrumental myopia. Additionally, it does not check for any signs of disease or other abnormalities. It's important to note that updating your prescription with an eye test is not equivalent to an annual eye exam.
While it's not necessarily a bad thing to update your prescription, it's important to know that an eye test doesn't count as an annual eye exam. Regardless of age, keeping up with overall eye health is extremely important. That's why it's essential to have a comprehensive annual eye exam. If the exam shows abnormal results, your doctor will discuss next steps with you to perform further tests or treat an underlying condition.
This may include eyeglasses, contact lenses, eye exercises, medical treatment for an eye disease, or possibly a referral for surgery to correct muscle problems. At the end of the eye exam, you and your doctor will discuss the results of all tests and evaluate your vision and risk of developing eye diseases. They will also provide preventive measures you can take to protect your vision.