General Eye Exam
Mention the words ‘eye exam’ and most of us conjure up the familiar image of an eye chart. But a comprehensive eye exam is more than a vision test. Like any medical screening, an eye exam is an opportunity to evaluate the overall health of the eyes and detect serious problems early on.
During an eye exam, different tests are performed, including an external examination. Specific tests include:
- Visual field. The eye doctor will assess the peripheral vision.
- Visual acuity. The clarity of vision will be evaluated using a standardized eye chart test.
- Refractive error. The eye doctor will look for common refractive errors: nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. If corrective lenses are needed, you will be asked to view a chart using different corrective lenses to determine the appropriate prescription.
- Pupil function. The eye doctor will examine the pupils and how they reacts to light.
- Eye muscle (ocular motility). You will be asked to follow a target or object with your eyes. The rate and smoothness of your eye movement will be noted.
- Retina health (ophthalmoscopy). This test allows the examiner to see and detect problems with the tissues at back of the eye (the retina and other structures). A handheld lens or a slit lamp is used.
- Intraocular pressure (IOP). A constant flow of fluid maintains the eye’s shape and keeps eye pressure in equilibrium. Tonometry devices measure the internal pressure of the eye. An IOP test screens for glaucoma and other eye diseases.
Scheduling a Comprehensive Eye Exam
Eye exams should be part of your routine health maintenance. How often the eyes should be examined depends on age and medical history. In general, the guidelines below can be followed, providing the patient does not have a history or symptoms of vision problems:
|Age||Comprehensive Exam Frequency|
|Children under 5||Examination for common eye problems should be performed with routine check ups with a pediatrician. The first comprehensive eye exam should be scheduled between ages 3 and 5.|
|School-age children and teens||Vision should be checked before the first year of primary school and rechecked every 2 years if vision is normal.|
|Adults 20s and 30s||Every 5-10 years|
|Adults 40-50||Every 1-2 years|
|Adults over 50||Annual exam|
Your individual eye examination schedule should be made in consultation with your eye care specialist. Contact Beach Eye in Huntington Beach, CA to schedule your eye exam.