Performed in Duluth, GA (north of Atlanta) at Georgia Eye Physicians & Surgeons
No matter what your specific vision concerns may be, proper treatment should always begin with a thorough diagnosis. However, not all vision problems are equal. Some can be identified with only a few simple tests, while others may require much more sophisticated diagnostic techniques. At Georgia Eye Physicians and Surgeons, Dr. William Segal or Dr. Marc Lay can perform two distinct levels of eye examination: a Routine Vision Exam and a Comprehensive Medical Exam. The type of eye exam you will be given is determined by the reason for your visit or your chief complaint, as well as by your specific diagnosis.
Routine Vision Examination
A Routine Vision Exam involves basic eye tests that are no doubt familiar to those who use prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses for the correction of common refractive errors, like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. It is performed to determine the degree to which the length of the eye or distortions in the shape of the cornea and/or other areas of the eye are impairing the vision. Hence the exam primarily consists of a refractive test, where the patient compares lenses of varying strengths and focuses to determine which provides the clearest vision. Using this information, our licensed optician can design eyeglass or contact lenses that will help the eyes focus correctly. Although a Routine Vision Exam does involve a cursory inspection of the eye itself, as well as general tests to determine whether there are any concerns that warrant immediate attention or if any changes have occurred in your eyes since your last visit, it is a relatively quick procedure that lacks the medical focus of a full Comprehensive Medical Examination.
Comprehensive Medical Examination
Many serious eye problems, like glaucoma or cataracts, develop gradually over the course of several years, but if they can be diagnosed early there are options for treatment that may not be available once the condition has had an opportunity to progress. A Comprehensive Medical Eye Exam uses a variety of highly specialized tests and a thorough examination of the eye’s interior to allow Dr. Segal or Dr. Lay to evaluate the health of the eyes and, more importantly, to track subtle changes that may indicate the onset of serious conditions that a more routine screening might miss. A full Comprehensive Medical Eye Exam can often even identify the earliest symptoms of medical conditions unrelated to the eyes, like multiple sclerosis, diabetes, or high cholesterol. Comprehensive Medical Eye Exams generally take anywhere from one and a half to two hours to perform. Because they require that the eyes be dilated using special eye drops, patients will usually experience light sensitivity and blurry vision for several hours after the exam.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) recommends that all men and women undergo a complete Comprehensive Medical Eye Exam at least once between the ages of 20 and 29 and at least twice between the ages of 30 and 39, and that they receive a baseline eye disease screening at age 40, the time when early signs of disease and changes in vision may start to occur. Based on the results of this baseline screening, Dr. Segal or Dr. Lay will prescribe the necessary intervals for follow-up exams, but seniors age 65 and over should have complete eye exams every one to two years to check for cataracts, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and many other potentially sight-threatening diseases.