Some eye disorders may have no symptoms in their early stages. Eye abnormalities can indicate other health problems, such as hypertension or diabetes. Generally, it is recommended that adults over 40 years of age undergo an eye screening even if they have no other risk factors since many common eye disorders or eye changes occur during this time.
The goal of eye screening is to look for common eye disorders and other conditions that are rarer but serious enough to lead to vision loss, such as eye tumors.
-Many eye diseases go unnoticed for long periods of time. Only when they advance to moderate or late stages can they be noticeable. Unfortunately, this can cause irreversible damage and vision loss. By monitoring your eyes for early signs of eye disease, you can help prevent future vison loss. If you have a family history of eye health problems, make a habit of scheduling an exam once a year.
A complete eye examinations includes the following: -General eye exam. -Visual acuity test to test sharpness of vision by reading numbers or letters. -Detection for color blindness. -Intraocular pressure measurement exam, as low or high eye pressure can indicate certain eye disorders, such as glaucoma. -Corneal curvature measurement via auto keratometer, as some disorders are characterized by abnormal corneal curvature and can lead to vision loss. -Refractive errors exam via autorefraction. -Retina and macula exam via fundus camera. -Exam of shape and appearance of the front of the eye, including cornea, iris and anterior chamber angle via anterior segment OTC. Certain abnormalities may indicate risk for eye disorders. For example, if the angle of the eye is quite narrow or closed, the person may be at risk of developing acute glaucoma. -Measure retinal thickness and detection of retinal damage via posterior segment OTC. -Visual field exam to detect dysfunction in central and peripheral vision. For example, early stage glaucoma affects the peripheral vision with no symptoms. The visual field test can show the abnormality in early stages. Furthermore, examination of visual field can indicate abnormalities in the brain that affect vision.
If you wear contact lenses or glasses, please bring them to your appointment. Your eye doctor will want to make sure your prescription is the best one for you. Bring sunglasses to wear after your eye exam. If your eyes are dilated during your exam, sunlight or other bright lights can cause discomfort or blurred vision. Also, consider having someone else drive you home.
At the end of your eye exam, you and your doctor will discuss the results of all testing, including an assessment of your vision, your risk of eye disease and preventive measures you can take to protect your eyesight.
What are the risk factors that affect the frequency of eye screening?
-Preexisting health conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, AIDS or sickle cell anemia. -History of eye disorders, such as retinal detachment, eye injury or loss of vision in one or both eyes. -Family history of eye disorders, such as glaucoma or macular degeneration. -African descent and older than 20 years of age. -Work that involves intense eye use. -Usage of medication that affects the eyes. Wearing contact lenses.
How often should I get eye exams?
Current guidelines for eye exam frequency vary depending on factors such as age and overall health of each patient. Some may require an annual exam while others may need them more or less frequently. A good rule of thumb is for those over age 40, it is recommended to see your eye doctor once a year.
What generally happens during an eye exam?
During a comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor will not only determine if you require a prescription for eyeglasses, but they will also check your eyes for common eye diseases, assess how your eyes work together as a team and evaluate your eyes as indicators of your overall health.
My eyes seem fine. Do I really need an examination?
Yes. While your eyes may seem fine now, only a thorough exam can tell if trouble is brewing. Some eye disorders, like glaucoma, may present few - if any - symptoms. Patients who wait too long may develop permanent, irreversible vision loss. Routine eye exams are the best defense against problems that may seriously harm your vision in the future. It's also recommended that patients with medical issues such as diabetes or hypertension undergo frequent exams, as such diseases can have adverse, unpredictable effects on vision.