Is It Time for Your Eye Exam?
People worry more about keeping up with the arbitrary 3,000-mile oil change schedule of their car than they do about regular eye exams. But it’s during these routine eye exams where larger problems, such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, and other serious vision problems, are spotted. That’s crucial because many conditions such as glaucoma don’t present symptoms before they begin causing permanent damage to a person’s vision.
Here’s what is involved in a routine eye exam.
Tests in an eye exam and what they’re looking for
Eye exams are so much more than simply telling a person he or she has 20/20 or 20/100 vision. We take these exams very seriously and continually upgrade to the latest technology to not only allow us to check your refraction quality, but more importantly, to look for the early signs of any type of eye disease.
Here is a list of what we test:
· Refraction assessment — As light enters the front of your eyes, the rays are bent as they reach the retina in the back of the eye. If the light rays aren’t focused onto the proper spot, you have a refractive error, things like farsightedness and the like. Glasses or contact lenses correct these errors. To fine tune the amount of error and correction we use a phoropter, where alternate lenses are rotated in front of your eyes to find which correction gives you the best vision.
· Visual acuity test — This old standby test uses an alphabet eye chart, also called the Snellen chart. We have you cover one eye and read the letters that get progressively smaller the farther down your read.
· Vision field test — This determines if you have difficulty seeing in any areas of your overall field of vision. We use an automated perimetry machine where you look at a screen with blinking lights on it. You press a button each time you see a blink.
· Eye muscle test — You simply follow an object, and we watch your eye movements to check for muscle weakness, poor control, or poor coordination between eyes.
· Color vision test — To test for any color vision problems, we show you several multicolored dot-pattern tests. There are numbers and shapes within the dot patterns. If you have some color blindness, you won’t see the numbers/shapes in the dots.
· Slit-lamp examination — The slit lamp is a microscope that illuminates and magnifies the front of your eye. We examine your eyelids, lashes, cornea, iris, lens, and the fluid chamber in your eye.
· Retinal examination — Sometimes called funduscopy or ophthalmoscopy, this is the examination of the back of your eye, where the retina, optic disc, and various blood vessels are found. For this exam, we usually dilate your eye with eyedrops. These keep the pupil from getting smaller when a light is shown on it.
· Glaucoma screening — Glaucoma is a disease where pressure builds inside your eyeball, intraocular pressure. This pressure damages the optic nerve and your vision. For this test, we usually use a puff of air shot onto the front of the eye. This measures the pressure in the eye.
When considering your overall health, don’t overlook (pardon the pun) your eyes. Be sure to schedule regular eye exams, especially after your 40th birthday or if you have diabetes. To make an appointment with the team at Millennium Park, call us at (312) 996-2020.