It’s easy for us to forget about taking care of our eyes, especially if they seem to be working just fine. But an important part of making sure that your eyes stay as healthy as possible across your lifetime is to make sure that you’re receiving comprehensive eye and vision exams.
An eye exam isn’t just about checking to see if you need glasses, which you might, but to make sure that your eyes don’t exhibit symptoms of degenerative eye conditions such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, or cataracts. Often times, people don’t even know that they have one of these conditions until they have an eye exam.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that everyone 40 and above should receive an eye exam every two years. High-risk populations should have an eye exam with an ophthalmologist every two years, regardless of their age. You may be considered at high risk for an ophthalmic disorder if:
- You are age 65 or older
- You have persistent loss of vision
- You have had a serious trauma to your eyes or retinal detachment in the past
- You have diabetes, hypertension, or sick cell disease
- You have a family history of glaucoma or other eye diseases
The doctors at Accent recommend those over age sixty have an annual exam with your ophthalmologist.
Eye exams take into account more than just how good your vision is; they examine the overall health of your eyes. According to the American Optometric Association, a comprehensive eye exam usually includes the following parts:
- 1. Patient History: It’s important for your eye doctor to know your patient history, including previous or familial eye conditions, medications and health problems, and occupational and environmental conditions. All of these factors can play into the health of your eyes.
- 2. Visual Acuity: The part of the exam measures exactly how far each eye sees.
- 3. Preliminary Tests: Your eye doctor will test you for your depth perception, color vision, and peripheral vision, as well as the how well your eyes dilate and the condition of your eye muscles.
- 4. Keratometry: A necessary test if you want contacts, keratometry examines the curvature of the cornea.
- 5. Refraction: If you need corrective lenses for nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, then refraction helps your eye doctor determine the appropriate lens strength you need to have the best vision possible.
- 6. Eye Focusing, Eye Teaming, Eye Movement: These tests help your eye doctor examine how well your eyes focus, as well as how well they move and work together.
- 7. Eye Healthy Evaluation: Your eye doctor will measure the pressure of your eyes, since those who have an elevated eye pressure (above 22mm Hg) have an increased risk of developing glaucoma.
You might be reluctant to go in for an eye exam, especially if you don’t think that you need glasses. But you only get one pair of eyes for your lifetime. Take care of them by visiting your optometrist for a comprehensive eye exam as needed. If you need to schedule an exam or have questions about an eye condition, contact your eye doctor today.