It is very important that you visit an eye doctor like us for a regular eye exam. Your visual health is an important part of your overall health. In addition to checking your prescription or helping with your glasses or contacts, during an eye exam your doctor will look for signs of more serious conditions. Regular eye exams are crucial for early diagnosis of these kinds of vision problems or disorders, and catching these issues in the early stages can have a big impact on treatment outcome down the road. This is why a regular, scheduled eye exam is such an important part of maintaining your health, especially as you age. Have questions about eye exams? Read on below to for more information and answers to common patient questions.
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Ready to schedule your eye exam? Have more questions about eye exams with the San Antonio Eye Professionals? Contact us through the form below to schedule your appointment. Otherwise, read on below to learn more about eye exams.
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Why do I need an eye exam?
Getting an eye exam is an important part of maintaining your overall health. Your eyes don’t only serve as the windows to the soul. They also serve as windows into the action and health of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues throughout the body. Per the American Academy of Ophthalmology, eye exams can detect conditions you may now have expected, including:
- High Blood Pressure
- High Cholesterol
- Thyroid disease
- Vascular disease
- …and many more
To ensure healthy vision and overall health, make sure that you are seeing us on a recommended schedule for an eye exam. Not only are these exams important for maintaining or adjusting your prescription if you wear contacts or glasses, but they also are vital for early diagnosis and treatment of eye disorders or other illnesses. If you are overdue for an eye exam, schedule one here at the San Antonio Eye Professionals today.
What happens during an eye exam?
A comprehensive eye exam is a simple and smooth process. Depending on whether you are a new or returning patient, some of these steps may or may not be present, but we will include them all here. Your doctor may have one of our team members perform some portion of the exam, but the typical comprehensive eye exam consists of the following elements (not necessarily in this order):
Evaluation of medical history
Typically, especially during your first visit, the doctor or staff member will begin by asking you about your vision and general health. They will usually ask questions to determine your family’s medical history, your current medications, and whether you wear or have worn corrective lenses.
Evaluation of your prescription for glasses or contacts
This is the step of the eye exam when your doctor will have you look through a phoroptor. The phoroptor contains many different lenses, which the doctor will slide over each other to change the ‘prescription’ of the lens you are looking through. This allows them to determine the best prescription for you for glasses or contact lenses.
Test of visual acuity
If you have received an eye exam before, this is the part you are likely most familiar with. During this part of the eye exam the doctor will have you read an eye chart to determine your ability to see at different distances. One eye is covered while the other is tested.
Test of side (peripheral) vision
Your doctor will also test your side vision. This is important because loss of side vision is a common symptom of glaucoma, and it is possible to lose side vision without noticing.
Test of eye movement
During a comprehensive eye exam your doctor will test the movement of your eyes. This test, referred to as ocular motility, checks to make sure that your eyes are properly aligned and that the muscles in your eye are working properly.
When your doctor shines a bright light into your eye, they are checking to see how your pupils respond to light. Typically, when exposed to bright light the pupils will get smaller. If they get wider, or do not respond at all, it could be a sign of an underlying issue.
Eye Pressure check
Your doctor will also measure the pressure in your eye, referred to as intraocular pressure. Why is this? Elevated pressure in the eye is a common sign of glaucoma. The test usually involves a quick puff of air on the eye or applying a pressure-sensitive tip to the eye.
To check the retina, your doctor will dilate the eye with dilating eye drops, causing the pupil to widen. This will allow them to examine your retina and optic nerve for disease or damage.
Check the front of the eye
If you have received a comprehensive eye exam before, you may remember the thin vertical slit of light that the doctor passes over your eye. This allows them to examine the iris, lens, cornea, and eyelids for cataracts, scars, or signs of disease.
There are other elements that may be included in your comprehensive eye exam depending on your specific needs or medical history. If you have questions about the specifics of a comprehensive eye exam with the San Antonio Eye Professionals, contact our team.
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