Eye Exams: Types, Importance, and Procedure

Eye Exams: Types, Importance, and Procedure

Apr 01, 2021

Our eyes are one of the complex and vital organs in the body. Not only do we use them all the time (unless you are sleeping), but are the tools with which we enjoy the beauty of the world. As such, it is vital to have your eyes examined by either an ophthalmologist or optometrist in Calgary. Eye exams should be a part of your routine checkups to ensure they are working optimally.

Why are Eye Exams Important?

Getting eye exams near you helps to detect vision problems at their earliest stage when they are easy to treat. These exams are important because vision-threatening diseases like glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy usually have minimal symptoms until the disease is advanced. With routine eye checkups, the optometrist can detect these problems and either reverse them or slow their progression.

When Should You Have Your Tested?

Several factors will determine the frequency of the eye exams like age, your health, and your risk level.

  • Age
  • For children, a comprehensive eye exam is needed between three and five years. The pediatrician will examine the eyes to check for the most common eye problems like lazy, misaligned, or crossed eyes.

    It is important to have your child get an eye exam before they enter first grade. If they don’t have any vision problems, a comprehensive eye checkup in Calgary is required every one to two years, or as advised by the eye doctor.

    For adults with healthy vision, a comprehensive eye checkup is needed at least every five to ten years. However, if you are between 40 and 65, you need to have regular exams every one to four years depending on your risk level. Some of the eye problems are influenced by age like cataracts.

  • Health
  • People with high blood pressure need frequent eye exams to prevent hypertensive retinopathy. This is the vascular damage triggered by high blood pressure.

    If you have type one diabetes, you need to get your eyes checked within five years of having a positive diagnosis. These exams should be repeated every year after that.

    People with type 2 diabetes need an eye exam as soon as possible after the diagnosis and every year after that.

What Can You Expect?

During your eye exam, the optometrist will do any of the following based on your medical history and health condition.

  1. Routine eye exam
  2. This a basic eye exam that is done to check on specific vision problems and concerns. These exams usually last for less than an hour and they include checking the vision, pupil, eye movement, and assess your eye health.

  3. Comprehensive exams
  4. Optometrists recommend these exams once per year for both adults and children. This is exam is done to assess your entire visual system and eye health. Unlike routine eye exams that only assess your vision, comprehensive eye exams include a series of tests to complete the evaluation of your eyes.

    The eye exams usually begin with your health history. The doctor will probe about drug history, allergies, and any health conditions that run in the family. Next, several tests will be done. The eye tests that you will undergo during your eye exam will differ from doctor to doctor, but some of the common exams you may encounter include:

    • Visual acuity involves the measuring of your vision using an eye chart.

    • Refraction eye exams are done on those people who don’t have 20/20 vision. This test tells the doctor which prescription lenses will correct your eyesight.

    • Eye focusing and teaming tests are done to examine how the eyes function together and individually.

    • The eye doctor will do a slit lamp test to check the internal and external parts of the eyes. Tonometry can also be done to check for signs of glaucoma.

    Pupil dilation is done as part of your comprehensive eye exam. The doctor will use dilating eye drops to get a better view of certain parts of the eye.

  5. Contact exams
  6. These exams are ideal for people who wear contact lenses. What is the difference between comprehensive vs. contact exams? Well, contact exams are done in addition to the comprehensive test. The eye doctor will perform special tests to evaluate your vision with contacts and also to determine the size and type of contacts you need.

Schedule an Appointment

Visit Premier Eye Care for more information on which eye exams are suitable.