Eye Doctor

When To Get And Why You NEED An Eye Exam

Eye exams are important. Most people pay attention to every aspect of their health, but not their eyes. Interestingly, without proper eyesight, you may suffer more than you realize. Good eyes provide us the ability to see all the world has to offer. You owe it to yourself and your eyes to take proper care of them.

How do you care for your eyes? It is easier than you think. Visit your eye doctor. How can an eye doctor help? He or she will perform an eye exam. An eye exam may prevent you from suffering a chronic condition resulting in vision loss or poor health. An eye doctor may discover an underlying autoimmune condition simply by performing an eye exam.

Most people do not think about getting an eye exam unless they experience vision problems. Truthfully, everyone should have an eye exam. Usually, people with few eye exams can get an eye exam once every two years. If you do have vision problems, your optician may recommend seeing you yearly for a follow up.

Why Eye Exams are Important
As mentioned before, eye doctors often discover other health conditions when examining your eyes. They can also detect common problems including cataracts or macular degeneration early on and initiate treatment.

You may have a small vision problem and not realize it. Some people for example, suffer for years from chronic headaches, only to learn later they have a vision problem that when corrected, can easily reduce headaches. Eye doctors know even minor vision problems can affect the entire body, so it is important you take care of your peepers.

The sooner you receive treatment for an eye or vision problem, the less likely you are to suffer complications. You are also likely to enjoy a better result with fewer side effects.

What Doctors Look For During an Eye Exam?
During your eye exam, your ophthalmologist will take a complete medical history. This will alert them to any genetic or heredity conditions that may exist that may predispose you to vision problems. There are many specialists offering eye exams. Examples include:

  • Optometrists
  • Ophthalmologists
  • Opticians
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If you have specific vision problems you may need to consult a specialist including a surgeon. Tests doctors may perform include testing your vision, an eye muscle test that monitors eye movement, an acuity test assessing how far you can see at distances, and refraction tests that tell a doctor how your eye refracts light, which may tell them whether you need corrective lenses.

Special Tests Eye Doctors Perform
Most doctors today use automated tests to examine the health of our eyes. Usually you do not have to stand at a distance and look at an eye chart, though some doctors do use this method, only they have you look through an automated tool instead.

This visual test often referred to as an "acuity" tests lets your doctor know how sharply and clearly you can see. You will read letters at a distance of 20 feet. If you have no trouble reading the letters, you have 20/20 vision (hence the distance of 20 feet). Some people have better vision, others much worse. You can for example, have 20/100 vision, suggesting you need serious intervention.

A retinoscopy is another common test used to measure the way your eyes refract light. This test can help your eye doctor decide whether you need glasses. Usually your eye doctor has you stare at a foreign object while shining an instrument into your eye, determining the way your eye reflects light.

Refraction tests help your doctor assess whether you suffer from farsightedness, nearsightedness, or related conditions including astigmatism. This test also detects presbyopia in the elderly.

Many times, when visiting an eye doctor, you are offered optional exams. These include a "tonometry" exam, or IOP exam. This exam measures the pressure of your eye. People who have higher than average eye pressure are more at risk for eye diseases as they age, including glaucoma, so this can be an important test to consider as you age.

Dilation is another specialized eye exam. While not required, many doctors recommend pupil dilation during an eye examination. This is a simple test where an eye doctor uses eye drops to increase the size of your pupils. This allows your eye doctor to examine optic nerves, the blood vessels in your eyes and even the retina of your eye. This test is an important test like the eye pressure test for ruling out diseases that may affect vision.

If you are not confident about the tests you should receive, consult with your eye doctor. He or she will help you decide what tests are most appropriate, based on your current health, visual history, and your medical history.


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