Regular eye and vision examinations are important in maintaining the health of the eyes and ensuring the future of your vision.  Many eye diseases have no obvious signs or symptoms, meaning that patients may be unaware a problem exists.  Early diagnosis of these diseases is key in maintaining good visual acuity and eye health, and possibly preventing vision loss. 

Patient History: Your examination will begin with a patient history.  The doctor will ask you about what symptoms you are experiencing, when they started, and also about your overall health.  Please be sure to bring a list of medications you are currently taking (including over the counter medicine and any eye drops).  The doctor will also ask you about your individual visual needs, and any occupational factors that may be affecting your vision or eye health.  You will also be asked for a family history of eye conditions and major health conditions.

Visual Acuity: Visual acuity is a measurement of how well each eye sees.  You will be asked to read letters on distance and near charts with each eye individually and with both eyes.  It is recorded as a fraction such as 20/30.  The top number indicates the standard distance at which the testing is done (20 feet) and the bottom number indicates the size of the letter you were able to read.  Normal vision is 20/20.

Initial Testing: Initial testing includes evaluation of color vision, depth perception/stereopsis, eye muscle movements, and the way your pupils respond to light.  We also test peripheral (side) vision on every patient using a specialized instrument which allows us to detect many diseases including early glaucoma.

Eye Teaming/Binocular Vision: We will assess how well your eyes focus and move together. Our Exam Lane In order to see comfortably, the eyes must move and focus together well. 

Keratometry: This is a measurement of the curvature of the cornea: the front clear part of the eye.  It is especially useful in contact lens patients to assure a properly fitting contact lens.

Refraction: Refraction is the process used to determine your glasses and contact lens prescription.  Using an instrument called a phoropter (“the big glasses”), we will place a series of lenses in front of your eyes and measure how they focus light using a handheld instrument called a retinoscope.  The power is then refined by your responses to determine the lenses that allow for the clearest, most comfortable vision.  In some instances dilation drops may need to be used to find the most accurate prescription by temporarily keeping the eyes from changing focus while the testing is done.

Eye Health Evaluation: We use an instrument called a slit lamp to magnify and light your eye in order to evaluate the total health of the eye from front to back.  Evaluation of the retina can be performed without dilation, however dilation is always recommended for our patients as it gives the most thorough and comprehensive look at all of the back of the eye.

Eye Pressure Measurement: Increased eye pressure is a risk factor for glaucoma.  We check eye pressure on every patient.

Additional Testing: Further testing may be needed based on the results of the above tests in order to confirm or rule out certain diagnoses.  In some cases consultation with or treatment by another health care provider may be indicated.

Discussion: Our doctors will explain each test and the results both during the examination and at the conclusion.  Please feel free to ask questions; we feel it is important that you fully understand your care, the results of your exam, and any treatment options or glasses options that are recommended.

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