Annual eye exams are a lot more than whether or not you can see clearly. There are many parts to a comprehensive annual eye exam, and while vision clarity is an important part, we also perform a thorough ocular health exam to detect and prevent long-term vision loss due to eye disease. Even if you and your family seem to be seeing well, we advise that everyone have an annual eye exam to catch any vision problems before they develop into something more serious.
Here’s what to expect when you come in for your exam:
This helps us understand your past vision and medical history to help tailor our exam so we provide the best care for you. For example, diabetics can have fluctuating vision with changing blood sugar levels and kids who have focusing issues may be having difficulty in school. Knowing this history in advance helps us give you the best possible care.
We check your vision closely to determine how clearly each eye can see. This is a starting point to help improve your vision during the refraction portion of the exam.
These tests are evaluating for a variety of common eye disorders and include tests for eye movement, eye alignment, peripheral (or outer surrounding) vision testing, and a close check of how your pupils respond to light.
Autorefraction and Keratometry
Autorefraction is used to determine an estimate of the current prescription of each eye, giving the doctor a starting point for your refraction (see below). Keratometry measures the curvature of the cornea. This is used for all contact lens fittings to help determine which contact lens to use on the eye. This test also is used to detect corneal diseases, such as keratoconus.
This is the portion of the exam where the doctor carefully evaluates your glasses prescription using both objective and subjective measures. At EyeCare for You, we take this part very seriously because we know that determining an accurate glasses prescription can mean the difference between comfortable, clear vision and tired, fatigued eyes, with eyestrain and headaches. With all the computer and cell phone time we have now, it’s especially important to reduce visual strain with an accurate prescription. Along with a thorough history of how you use your vision, Dr. Ramsey will work with you to get you clear and comfortable vision that fits your lifestyle.
Ocular Health Exam
Although refraction may seem like the most important part of the exam, to Dr. Ramsey and her team, ocular health is the most critical area. At EyeCare for You, we recommend a dilated exam on every patient. By closely evaluating the health of the eye, we can detect ocular disease before it becomes a problem and take steps to prevent vision loss. Dr. Ramsey looks for many eye diseases, most commonly dry eye, cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration, but also for signs of other issues such as diabetes, hypertension, and cholesterol. By detecting these problems early and making lifestyle changes, we can help improve your overall wellness, not just your vision!
Sometimes, further testing is needed to help diagnose or monitor a disease. We may do an in-depth scan of the macula to check for macular degeneration or diabetic changes, a peripheral vision test to monitor glaucoma progression, or thorough testing of ocular teaming (using both eyes together) and focusing for kids having difficulty in school. This is all carefully determined by Dr. Ramsey during the annual eye exam to protect and enhance your vision for years to come.
We are proud to offer the iWellness ocular health screening! In addition to the full ocular health exam, the iWellness Exam is a non-invasive scan of the eye that can be performed quickly and easily. The images produced by the iWellness Exam provide an amazing view of the different retinal layers that standard photos (like the Optomap) cannot. This scan allows Dr. Ramsey to identify the earliest signs of disease, which enables her to tailor recommendations to you. Dr. Ramsey recommends the iWellness Exam every year regardless of symptoms, to allow her to observe even the smallest changes occurring over time. This exam is now included in all of our annual eye exams as part of our Direct Care system.