Yearly eye examinations are an important part of preventive health care. Many eye and vision problems have no obvious signs or symptoms. As a result, individuals are often unaware that problems exist. Early diagnosis and treatment of eye and vision problems are important for maintaining good vision, eye health, and when possible, preventing vision loss.
A comprehensive adult eye and vision examination may include, but is not limited to, the following tests. Individual patient signs and symptoms, along with the professional judgment of the doctor, may significantly influence the testing performed.
A patient history helps to determine any symptoms the individual is experiencing, when they began, the presence of any general health problems, medications taken and occupational or environmental conditions that may be affecting vision. The doctor will ask about any eye or vision problems you may be having and about your overall health. The doctor will also ask about any previous eye or health conditions of you and your family members.
Before you see one of our optometrists there are several tests that must be performed. Stereoacuity tests are done to assess a patient’s depth perception. Blood pressures are taken and blood sugar levels are checked with all diabetic patients. Texarkana Eye Associates use a top of the line machine that assesses intraocular pressure (sometimes referred to as the “Glaucoma Test”), keratometry, (the curvature of the front surface of your eyes) and refraction (an estimation of your prescription that the doctor uses as a starting point while refining your prescription). Lastly, we check your visual fields (this determines the sensitivity of vision in your periphery).
Reading charts are often used to measure visual acuity. Visual acuity measurements evaluate how clearly each eye is seeing. As part of the testing, you are asked to read letters on distance and near reading charts. The results of visual acuity testing are written as a fraction such as 20/40. When testing distance vision, the top number in the fraction is the standard distance at which testing is done, twenty feet. The bottom number is the smallest letter size you were able to read. A person with 20/40 visual acuity would have to get within 20 feet of a letter that should be seen at 40 feet in order to see it clearly. Normal distance visual acuity is 20/20.
Refraction tests are conducted to determine the appropriate lens power needed to compensate for any refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism). The power of the eye, estimated by our auto-refractor, is then refined by your responses to determine the lenses that allow the clearest vision. This testing may be done without the use of eye drops to determine how your eyes respond under normal conditions, but in some cases, eye drops are used to keep your eyes from changing focus while testing is done.
Eye Health Evaluation
External examination of the eye includes evaluation of the cornea, eyelids, conjunctiva and surrounding eye tissue using bright light and magnification. Evaluation of the lens, retina, and posterior section of the eye may be done through a dilated pupil to provide a better view of the internal structures of the eye, but if you do not prefer to be dilated, Optomap testing is a great option.