As important as our eyesight is to our lives, people tend to put a pretty small emphasis on their care. Your ability to see is your most important sense – so, it’s important to make sure your eyes are always in top shape! The first step to doing this is attending routine comprehensive eye examinations at Shanbom Eye Specialists in Berkley, MI.
Why Do You Need Routine Eye Exams?
Just like every other system in your body, your eyes need regular checking to make sure everything is still running smoothly. Aside from the health of your eyes, it’s important to make sure your prescription is always up to date so that you’re always seeing your best!
There are a lot of eye conditions that manifest without symptoms. Some can even cause irreparable vision loss, like glaucoma. Conditions like glaucoma don’t discriminate and they can happen to anybody. So, even if you feel like you’re overall healthy enough to skip your eye exams, it’s important to take the time and get it done.
What Happens During an Eye Exam?
It’s common to feel nervous before an eye examination, but we can assure you that nothing about your exam will be painful or scary. Here is a list of things you can expect during your eye examination:
Visual Acuity Tests
These are the tests that measure your sharpness of vision. This can be done using a projected eye chart to measure distance vision, and a hand-held acuity chart to measure near vision. The results of this test will give your doctor an idea of what you need for corrective lenses.
Color Blindness Tests
This test will be performed early in the exam to rule out color blindness. Color blindness can be a sign of other eye problems.
This test allows your doctor to see how well your eyes work together. You will look at a small object across the room while your doctor covers one of your eyes, alternating between the two to see how well your eyes are aligned.
This will give your doctor an approximation of your eyeglass prescription. This is typically used on children or patients who cannot accurately answer questions.
Refraction. This is the test used to determine your exact prescription. Your doctor will put several different lenses in front of your eyes and ask which is clearer. They will keep going until they find your exact prescription.
Slit Lamp Exam
This exam allows your doctor to get a close look at your cornea, eyelids, conjunctiva, iris, and lens. This test can detect cataracts, macular degeneration, corneal ulcers, and diabetic retinopathy, among other things.
The Glaucoma Test
This test measures the pressure inside of your eyes. Your doctor will numb your eyes and use a special device that touches your eye briefly.
To get a good view of the eye’s internal structures, your doctor may perform a dilated eye exam. To do this, they will place special drops in your eyes that dilate your pupils completely. These can take 20 to 30 minutes to work. Your doctor will then use various instruments to look inside of the eyes.
If you receive a dilated eye exam, make sure to have someone there to drive you home afterward! The drops will take a few hours to wear off, during which you will experience very blurry vision and some light sensitivity.
How Often Should You Be Examined?
As you get older, eye conditions like glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration become more and more common. Older patients are generally asked to come in for exams more often as a result.
It is recommended for patients who are over the age of 50, diabetic or at risk of certain eye diseases to come by every year for an eye exam. Patients with autoimmune diseases or other health problems should come back yearly as well.
Younger patients with few risk factors may come back every two to three years for an exam.
Due for an eye examination? Contact Shanbom Eye Specialists in Berkley, MI to schedule your comprehensive eye examination today!