Eye health is often overlooked. Many people assume that if they don’t detect a change in vision or other eye impairment, they don’t need regular eye exams. But, regular eye exams (yearly for some people, bi-annually for others), are a vital component of general health maintenance. Comprehensive eye exams not only check vision but eye health as well. They help diagnose ocular disease and other conditions that impact vision in both adults and children.
Vision screening is just one component of an eye exam. Screenings are basic tests that show whether a person has a vision impairment that requires correction. Sometimes, these are performed by people other than eye health professionals, such as school health nurses or a family doctor. Vision screenings allow for basic assessments, but not detailed analysis. That’s where a comprehension vision test comes in. These are full exams, only performed by trained and accredited optometrists, or “eye doctors”. Eye exams examine vision and check for signs of diseases and disorders, such as diabetes, cancers, and high blood pressure that could threaten eyesight and health. In fact, disorders such as diabetes are sometimes first detected by optometrists, because it can cause small blood vessel leaks, or bleeding in the eye, that swells the macula and leads to vision loss. Eye doctors also screen for eye disorders such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts.
The vision check component of a comprehensive eye exam assesses visual acuity, or how well a person sees. Optometrists are uniquely qualified to assess and treat eye conditions that lead to visual impairment such as amblyopia, where eyes are misaligned, and strabismus, where eyes are crossed or turned. Once diagnosis is made, optometrists can then treat a disorder. In the case of ordinary vision impairments such as myopia or nearsightedness (where near objects are clear but far objects are out of focus) and hyperopia (far sightedness, where near objects are out of focus but far objects are clear), optometrists can write prescriptions for glasses, and contacts. They are also well-placed to fit glasses and contacts and recommend the best options for healthy, clear sight.
To schedule your eye exam, call 360 Eyecare today or book an appointment online.