Regardless of your age or physical health, it’s important to have regular comprehensive eye exams. Many eye and vision problems have no obvious signs or symptoms, so you might not know a problem exists. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent vision loss.
A comprehensive eye exam assess how your eyes work together as a team, check for common eye diseases, and give an indication your overall health. It includes the following:
Determination of the appropriate treatment plan that can include eyeglasses or contact lenses*, eye exercises or surgery for muscle problems, medical treatment for eye disease or a simply a recommendation that you have your eyes examined again in a specific period of time.
*Contact lenses prescriptions require an additional exam and fitting fee.
On average, the average exam takes 1 hour to 90 minutes, depending on the outcome of some of the testing that may require dilation.
During a complete eye exam, your eye doctor will not only determine your prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses, but also check your eyes for common eye diseases, assess how your eyes work together as a team and evaluate your eyes as an indicator of your overall health.
Vision screenings are general eye tests that are meant to help identify people who are at risk for vision problems. Screenings include brief vision tests performed by a school nurse, pediatrician or volunteers. The eye test you take when you get your driver’s license renewed is an example of a vision screening. A vision screening can indicate that you need to get an eye exam, but it does not serve as a substitute for a comprehensive eye exam.
A comprehensive eye examination is performed by an eye doctor and will involve careful testing of all aspects of your vision. Based upon the results of your exam, your doctor will then recommend a treatment plan for your individual needs. Remember, only an eye doctor can provide a comprehensive eye exam. Most family physicians and pediatricians are not fully trained to do this, and studies have shown that they can miss important vision problems that require treatment.
Eye examinations are an important part of health maintenance for everyone. Adults should have their eyes tested to keep their prescriptions current and to check for early signs of eye disease. For children, eye exams can play an important role in normal development.
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