An eye exam is needed as a part of periodic health check up regimen. This is because many times the symptoms of eye disorders go unnoticed and most commonly it’s the case when there’s fluctuation in your glass power. Secondly, an eye exam is needed to ensure your child’s normal vision development. There are several factors that determine when to go for an eye exam and what kind of test will be performed. We shall explain you the details in the upcoming segment.
Who should undergo eye exam?
In one sentence we can say that anyone facing problem with their eyes must undergo an eye exam.
Adults: If you have a family history of vision problems, then it’s quite likely that you may also need to get corrected. If you do not have any symptoms, then there’s no harm in undergoing a check up every 5-10 years between 20-30 years of age and may be as you grow older, you can go one in 2-3 years.
You should undergo an eye exam if you are diabetic or having blood pressure problems.
Teenagers: Mounting pressure from studies, T.V and computer addiction give rise to eye problems and henceforth a check up can be done every two years.
Children: The first eye exam should ideally be done between 3-5 years of age to rule out the common eye problems like lazy eyes, crossed eyes, etc. Do not neglect getting your kid’s eyes checked if you have family history of eye problems.
What does an eye exam detect?
Your eye doctor will be looking for the following conditions that you might be having:
Refractive error: to correct short-sightedness, far-sightedness and astigmatism in order to give you the correct prescription for lens.
Strabismus: Aka crossed eye or turned eyes due to alignment problems in eyes.
Amblyopia: A condition wherein both eyes have different prescription power.
Eye Diseases: to detect glaucoma, cataract, diabetic retinopathy, Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and various other problems associated with eye blood vessels.
How to Prepare Yourself for Eye Exam?
You don’t have to prepare much for the test. To be on the safe side carry your medical check up reports and also your previous eye check up reports. Rest will be guided by your doctor depending upon what kind of test you will be undergoing. Let your doctor know if you have any medical history like that of heart attack, obesity, high blood pressure, etc. and also if you are under any kind of medication, both OTC and prescription.
What Tests are performed during Eye Exam?
Few things like that of checking the clarity of your vision, measuring the eye pressure and checking the overall health of your eyes are common. Your doctor will ask you various question regarding your eyes as well as on general health and then ask you to undergo some tests. The following tests are usually performed during an eye exam.
1.Visual acuity test: It’s a test to check the clarity of your vision. There’s a chart called Snellen chart or a screen containing alphabets, placed at a certain distance. You have to read the words separately with each naked eye. If your vision is blurred (near or far) you will be prescribed lens after another test meant for determining your eye power.
2.Visual field test: As the name suggests, this test determines how clearly you can see the complete area that comes under your visual field. 3 categories are there: confrontation visual field exam, tangent screen exam and automated perimetry.
3.Color vision testing: Sometimes your eyes are incapable of distinguishing colours. In this case, your doctor will ask you to take up colour vision test wherein you will be asked to identify colours of several multi-coloured dots and patterns.
4.Refraction: In this test, different lens will be used to correct your vision. It detects the refractive error that may be present in your eyes. You will be given the best lens through which you can get the sharpest view.
5.Slit-lamp examination: In this test, a highly sensitive microscope is used that gives a magnified view of the eye structures in details. The posterior (iris, lens, cornea, eye fluid) and the anterior (eye lids and lashes) portion could be clearly examined with the light used.
That was all about eye exam. We want you to understand the importance of undergoing an eye test to avoid any kind of complication arising from negligence. In some cases, eye surgery is the only option to correct the disorder.
Written by: Saptakee sengupta
Date last updated: January 04, 2015