For many of us, the Coronavirus pandemic has impacted our ability to have routine medical appointments. Now that our office is slowly reopening, it’s important to not put off routine eye exams because it’s much easier to treat vision issues early. We’re working hard to ensure your health and safety in accordance with CDC and state guidelines to maintain your safe care during your office visit
Even if you’re not experiencing vision issues, it’s important to have a comprehensive eye exam once you turn 40. This will check for common vision issues and help us establish a baseline for your vision so we can better address any issues that may arise as you get older. Getting your eye health screening at 40 is much like mammograms at 40 or colon screenings at 50. Adults should take similar steps to maintain their eye health as they age.
Here’s what you can expect from your vision exam:
We’ll ask about your medical history.
First, Dr. Shanbom will ask about your medical history. This includes your family history, what medications you take, and what vision issues you may have experienced in the past. Certain disorders like diabetes or high blood pressure can put you at increased risk for eye disease.
You’ll have your visual acuity checked.
This is the part of the exam that most people are familiar with. Visual acuity tests will help us measure how sharp your vision is both up close and at a distance. If you need corrective lenses, we’ll determine your eyeglass prescription by putting several different lenses in front of your eyes and will ask which is clearer. We’ll keep going until we find your exact prescription.
We’ll go through other routine tests to make sure your eyes are functioning properly.
These tests include a quick check to test for colorblindness, which can lead to other eye issues. We’ll also make sure your eyes are working together by asking you to look at a small object across the room while the doctor covers one of your eyes.
We’ll check for signs of glaucoma.
After testing your visual acuity by having you read an eye chart, you may have your eyes dilated to check your eyes through dilated pupils. At this time, your eye pressure will also be tested. This test may include a quick puff of air into your eye or we will numb your eye and use a special device that touches your eye briefly. This tests for elevated intraocular eye pressure, which is a sign of glaucoma.
We’ll look for signs of cataracts.
Millions of people are treated for cataracts each year. However, your risk of developing cataracts starts to increase at age 40 which is why routine eye exams are so important. During your eye exam, the front part of your eye will be looked at with a slit-lamp microscope. We’ll look at your eyelids, cornea, iris, and lens. If there are any cataracts in your eye, we can discuss treatment options.
As you age, eye conditions such as glaucoma and cataracts become more common. That’s why older patients are generally asked to come in more often for eye exams. However, if you have diabetes, have an autoimmune disease, or are at risk for certain eye diseases you’ll also be asked to come back annually.
If you’re due for an eye examination don’t wait. Contact us today to schedule an exam and to learn more about the precautions we’re taking to ensure your health and safety!