An eye exam measures more than how clearly you view the world around you. The series of tests our Ophthalmologists perform during your optical exam are designed to evaluate your vision and check for early signs of eye disease. Severe conditions such as glaucoma can degrade your ocular health quickly with little to no symptoms, which is why these exams are critical to maintaining healthy eyes.
What Can Eye Exams Accomplish?
The primary goals of an eye exam are to establish healthy eyes and good vision. These appointments detect problems when they’re most treatable at the early stages and allow our eye doctors to correct your prescription for glasses or contact lenses and offer proper eye care and safety tips. Eye exams can even detect issues with your overall health. Certain medical conditions cause eye changes and may require more frequent exams, including:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Heart disease
- Cancer in the skin, tissues or blood
- And more
How Often Should You Have an Eye Exam?
Your age, health and eyesight dictate how often you need to see one of our Ophthalmologists. Children ages 3 and under should come in so that we can look for signs of childhood eye problems such as crossed eyes, misaligned eyes or lazy eyes. Children should have a comprehensive eye exam to evaluate eye alignment and pinpoint vision problems before starting kindergarten.
If you have poor vision because of farsightedness, nearsightedness, or astigmatism, you’ll likely have an eye exam to adjust your prescription once a year. Adults with no vision problems should have a thorough eye exam around age 40 when vision changes such as presbyopia as well as eye diseases start to develop. Our Ophthalmologists may recommend additional visits based on what they find. Adults 60 and older should be seen every one to two years to catch cataracts, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and other eye diseases that affect aging men and women.
You may have eye exams more often if your family history involves eye diseases, vision loss or chronic diseases such as diabetes.
What Tests Are Performed During an Eye Exam?
Our Ophthalmologists perform several tests during your eye exam to ensure you have healthy eyes and good vision. These tests check your eyesight and the appearance and function of your entire eye:
- Eye Muscle Test: Evaluates eye movements for weakness, control and coordination
- Visual Acuity: Assesses eyesight using a printed chart with letters
- Refraction Assessment: Interchanging lenses are used to determine your prescription
- Visual Field Test: Measures the entire field of vision without moving the eyes
- Color Vision Testing: Dotted patterns are used to identify color deficiencies
- Slit-lamp Examination: A microscope illuminates the front area of the eye to examine the iris, fluid chambers, cornea, lens, iris, lashes and eyelids.
- Retinal Examination: Evaluates the retinal tissue that lines the back of the eye, including the optic disk and underlying layer of blood vessels.
- Glaucoma Screening: Measures eye pressure and dilates the eyes to examine the inner workings.
Schedule Your Eye Exam in Largo
Contact our Ophthalmologists at St. Michael’s Eye & Laser Institute in Largo, Florida to schedule your comprehensive eye exam today.