Your eyes are an integral part of your body, and most daily activities involve using your eyes. Sadly, most people ignore routine eye exams, and many visit the doctor for regular body checkups and not eye exams. This has led to a spike in vision problems and severe eye conditions like glaucoma, cataracts, strabismus, and amblyopia. Nevertheless, a comprehensive eye exam should form part of your healthcare routine.
What does a comprehensive eye exam entail?
Most people go for a routine eye exam, but this is different from a comprehensive exam. The latter is an examination that reviews a patient’s family history, visual acuity measurement and includes preliminary tests for the eye’s visual function.
During a comprehensive eye exam, the specialist will test for refractive errors, depth perception, color vision, peripheral side vision and evaluate the health of your eyes through screening for common eye conditions. How long does it take? Most comprehensive eye exams last about an hour or one hour and a half. During the procedure, the optometrist checks your eyes to determine whether you can benefit from prescription glasses.
Why is a comprehensive eye exam essential?
Your eyes are indications of most health conditions in your body. Through a comprehensive eye exam, the doctor may unearth serious eye conditions. The professional will also discover other health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, or cancer. Such a test is associated with numerous benefits and allows the early detection and treatment of multiple eye conditions.
For instance, you can recognize glaucoma and macular degeneration through a comprehensive eye exam. The tests can reveal problems with an age-related eye disorder and leakage in the blood vessels. Macular degeneration can lead to blindness and is a leading cause of blindness in the US.
Glaucoma is also an age-related eye condition resulting from very high pressure in the eyes. It doesn’t exhibit any visible symptoms, and a glaucoma specialist will conduct a comprehensive eye exam to detect the condition early enough.
How often should you have a comprehensive eye exam?
A comprehensive eye exam checks your visual system and assesses your eye health. This involves multiple tests for a complete evaluation of your eye health and vision. Still, the exam can detect many eye conditions, including pink eye or conjunctivitis, a common bacterial infection. It can cause redness, irritation, or watery discharge from the eyes, and early detection helps rule out the possibility of other serious infections.
Most eye professionals recommend that you have the exam yearly or after every two years. However, this depends on your age, wearing glasses or contact lenses, and other risk factors. For adults between ages 18-60, the routine exam should be after two years. Older persons over 60 should get annual checks while children require regular checks to detect any visual problems.
The bottom line
Simple eye infections can be fatal, leading to severe eye deformities and vision impairment if left unchecked. This makes it vital to have a comprehensive eye exam often. For excellent results, seek the services of a licensed ophthalmologist