Comprehensive Eye and Vision Examination At Optomeyes, we strongly encourage everyone to get a comprehensive eye exam once a year. Even if you do not have vision problems, a vision “check-up” can be critical in spotting and treating issues before they affect your vision. This is especially important for children who may not even realize that the problems they may be having in school are actually vision related. Our comprehensive eye exam is designed to provide a complete evaluation of your vision health. Many eye and vision problems have no obvious signs or symptoms. As a result, individuals are often unaware that problems exist. Also, many medical conditions, such as, diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol can first be found from a comprehensive eye exam. Early diagnosis and treatment of eye and vision problems like Glaucoma and Macular Degeneration are important for maintaining good vision and eye health, and when possible, preventing vision loss. A comprehensive adult eye and vision examination at our Squamish or West Vancouver offices may include, but is not limited to, the following tests. Individual patient signs and symptoms, along with the professional judgment of the doctor may require additional testing, such as, Visual Field testing, Retinal Imaging, Pachymetry, MPOD, Topography, etc...
Why are Eye Exams Important? During an eye exam, our eye doctors are not only determining the proper prescription for your eyeglasses, but also checking your eyes for common eye diseases. With some simple tests we can detect the early onset of a serious eye illness such as glaucoma. With early detection, your chances of successful treatment are much higher. Our eye doctors will also assess how your eyes work together. Your eyes can be an indicator of your overall health, and our eye doctors will evaluate if there are any non-vision health issues that you should be aware of.
What’s the Difference Between a Vision Screening and a Complete Eye Exam? A vision screening can be helpful but it is by no means a substitute for a comprehensive eye exam. Vision screenings are used to help identify those at risk for vision problems and are often performed by a school nurse or volunteer. Even the test conducted by the clerk at the Drivers License Bureau is a form of vision screening. While these efforts can be helpful, they are not conducted by experienced professionals who have the training to detect eye disease. A comprehensive eye examination performed by one of our optometrists involves careful testing of every aspect of your vision. The exam will give the eye doctor enough information to recommend a personal treatment plan. These exams are much more thorough than the simple vision check conducted by family physicians and pediatricians as part of a medical check-up. Treatment plans can be as simple as recommending eyeglasses or as serious as spotting a need for eye surgery. The point is that only with a comprehensive eye exam can you be sure that your eyes are getting the best treatment available. That is why no matter who you are, annual eye exams are essential to ensure you are seeing clearly and preserving your vision for life.
Which Procedures Are Part of a Comprehensive Eye Examination? A comprehensive eye exam includes a variety of procedures to evaluate the health of your eyes and the quality of your vision. Some – like reading an eye chart –are most likely familiar to you. However, unless you have had a comprehensive eye exam, many of the evaluations will be new. For example: - An autorefractor evaluates the way an image is focused on the retina, where vision processing takes place, without the need for you to give feedback. This makes autorefractors especially useful when examining people who may have difficulty with a regular ("subjective") refraction. - Cover tests, in which the eye doctor will have you focus on a small object at a distance and will then cover each of your eyes, can detect even a very subtle misalignment that can interfere with your eyes working together properly (binocular vision) and cause amblyopia or "lazy eye." There are other tests that the eye doctor may decide to perform based on his or her observations, almost all of which are quick and painless. They are, however, very important in assessing the overall health of your eyes.
Patient History A patient history helps to determine any symptoms the individual is experiencing, when they began, the presence of any general heath problems, medications taken and occupational or environmental conditions that may be affecting vision. The doctor will ask about any eye or vision problems you may be having and about your overall health. The doctor will also ask about any previous eye or health conditions of you and your family members.
Visual Acuity Visual acuity measurements evaluate how clearly each eye is seeing.
Preliminary Tests Preliminary testing may include evaluation of specific aspects of visual function and eye health such as depth perception, color vision, eye muscle movements, peripheral or side vision, and the way your pupils respond to light.
Keratometry This test measures the curvature of the cornea, the clear outer surface of the eye. This measurement is particularly critical in determining the proper fit for contact lenses.
Refraction Refraction is conducted to determine the appropriate lens power needed to compensate for any refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism). Using an instrument called a phoropter, your optometrist places a series of lenses in front of your eyes and measures how they focus light using a hand held lighted instrument called a retinoscope. This testing may be done without the use of eye drops to determine how the eyes respond under normal seeing conditions. In some cases, such as for patients who can't respond verbally or when some of the eyes focusing power may be hidden, eye drops are used. The drops temporarily keep the eyes from changing focus while testing is done.
Eye Focusing, Eye Teaming, and Eye Movement Testing Assessment of accommodation, ocular motility and binocular vision determines how well the eyes focus, move and work together. In order to obtain a clear, single image of what is being viewed, the eyes must effectively change focus, move and work in unison. This testing will look for problems that keep your eyes from focusing effectively or make using both eyes together difficult.
Eye Health Evaluation External examination of the eye includes evaluation of the cornea, eyelids, conjunctiva and surrounding eye tissue using bright light and magnification. Evaluation of the lens, retina and posterior section of the eye may be done through a dilated pupil to provide a better view of the internal structures of the eye.
Supplemental Testing Additional testing may be needed based on the results of the previous tests to confirm or rule out possible problems, to clarify uncertain findings, or to provide a more in-depth assessment such as, Retinal Imaging, Macular Pigment Testing (MPOD), Visual Fields, Eye Pressure (Tonometry), Pachymetry, Corneal Topography, Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), Macula Risk Genetic Testing, etc... At the completion of the examination, your optometrist will assess and evaluate the results of the testing to determine a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan. He or she will discuss with you the nature of any visual or eye health problems found and explain available treatment options. In some cases, referral for consultation with, or treatment by, another optometrist or other health care provider may be indicated. (Reprinted from American Optometric Assocation, www.aoa.org)