Why Schedule Annual Eye and Vision Exams?
Periodic eye and vision examinations are an important part of preventive health care in terms of vision but also in terms of general health for everyone in the family. Children should have a professional eye exam before entering kindergarten. At PersonalEYES Vision Care we know that many eye and vision problems have no obvious signs or symptoms. As a result, individuals are often unaware that problems exist. Regular eye exams are important for early diagnosis and treatment. Early diagnosis and treatment of eye and vision problems such as cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration are important for maintaining good vision, eye health and preventing vision loss.
In addition to assessing vision and eye health problems, routine eye exams can also help identify many systemic conditions such as:
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Malignant Hypertension
- Brain tumors along the visual pathway
Eye and vision health is an important part of your life, for productivity in the workplace and enjoyment of leisure activities. Many conditions, such as Dry Eye or Computer Vision Syndrome can be improved with intervention and make a dramatic difference. Keeping current on eye and vision health exams is the best way to keep your “windows on the world” in top condition.
Vision Exams for Children
Children should have a professional eye exam before entering kindergarten. Vision is closely linked to the learning process. Children who have trouble seeing or interpreting what they see will often have trouble with their schoolwork. Many times, children will not complain of vision problems simply because they don’t know what “normal” vision looks like. If your child performs poorly at school or exhibits a reading or learning problem, be sure to schedule an eye examination to rule out an underlying visual cause.
State of the Art Equipment
PersonalEYES Vision Care uses state-of-the-art equipment to conduct thorough eye and vision health examinations. We use optical coherence tomography (OCT) to produce MRI-like scans of retinal structures. We use an industry-leading visual field analyzer and equipment to test peripheral vision. We house a special tonometer for patient-friendly eye pressure measurements, and ultrasonic devices to measure the thickness of the cornea. Our Keratron equipment creates a topographical map of the cornea. We use very precise, high tech equipment to take measurements for prescription glasses and contacts.
Elements of Eye and Vision Exams
Visual acuity measurements evaluate how clearly each eye is seeing. As part of the testing, you are asked to read letters on distance and near reading charts. The results of visual acuity testing are written as a fraction such as 20/40.
When testing distance vision, the top number in the fraction is the standard distance at which testing is done, twenty feet. The bottom number is the smallest letter size you were able to read. A person with 20/40 visual acuity would have to get within 20 feet of a letter that should be seen at 40 feet in order to see it clearly. Normal distance visual acuity is 20/20.
Preliminary testing may include evaluation of specific aspects of visual function and eye health such as depth perception, color vision, eye muscle movements, peripheral or side vision and pupillary responses.
This test measures the curvature of the cornea, the clear outer surface of the eye, by focusing a circle of light on the cornea and measuring its reflection. This measurement is particularly critical in determining the proper fit for contact lenses.
Refraction is conducted to determine the appropriate lens power needed to compensate for any refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism). Your optometrist places a series of lenses in front of your eyes and measures how they focus light using a hand held lighted instrument called a retinoscope. The power is then refined by patient’s responses to determine the lenses that allow the clearest vision.
This testing can be done without the use of eye drops to determine how the eyes respond under normal seeing conditions. In some cases, such as for patients who can’t respond verbally or when some of the eyes focusing power may be hidden, eye drops are used. The drops temporarily keep the eyes from changing focus while testing is done.
Eye Focusing, Eye Teaming, and Eye Movement Testing
Assessment of accommodation, ocular motility and binocular vision determines how well the eyes focus, move and work together. In order to obtain a clear, single image of what is being viewed, the eyes must effectively change focus, move and work in unison. This testing will look for problems that keep your eyes from focusing effectively or make using both eyes together difficult.
Eye Health Evaluation
External examination of the eye includes evaluation of the cornea, eyelids, conjunctiva and surrounding eye tissue using bright light and magnification.
Evaluation of the lens, retina and posterior section of the eye may be done through a dilated pupil to provide a better view of the internal structures of the eye.
Measurement of pressure within the eye (tonometry) is performed. Normal eye pressures range from 10 to 21 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), averaging about 14 to 16 mm Hg. Anyone with eye pressure greater than 22 mm Hg is at an increased risk of developing glaucoma, although many people with normal pressure also develop glaucoma.
Additional testing may be needed based on the results of the previous tests to confirm or rule out possible problems, to clarify uncertain findings, or to provide a more in-depth assessment.
At the completion of the examination, Dr. Spears will assess and evaluate the results of the testing to determine a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan. We will discuss with you the nature of any visual or eye health problems found and explain available treatment options.