At Georgia Eye Physicians and Surgeons, we are concerned with all aspects of vision health, and that includes regularly performing comprehensive eye examinations on all of our patients. Even though most people understand that regular eye exams are an important part of keeping your vision healthy and sharp, many still have questions about exactly what these exams really entail. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about comprehensive eye exams.
Why would I need to get a comprehensive eye examination?
Regular eye exams are critical to maintaining long term eye health. While one should typically seek out an eye examination anytime they are experiencing blurry vision, headaches, floating spots, or a difficulty in reading or seeing objects clearly, the purpose of a comprehensive eye exam goes beyond explaining immediate symptoms. Many serious eye problems, such as cataracts or glaucoma, develop gradually and in the earliest stages may exhibit no obvious symptoms at all. A comprehensive eye exam allows us to catch these conditions early, providing us with a broader range of effective treatment options and, in many cases, allowing us to prevent vision loss from occurring altogether.
What should I expect to experience during a comprehensive eye exam?
A full, comprehensive eye exam can take up to an hour or more, depending on the doctor and the individual patient’s specific needs, but is a relatively simple and completely painless process. At Georgia Eye, Dr. William Segal or Dr. Marc Lay perform a number of thorough, specialized tests in order to fully evaluate your vision and the health of your eyes, including standard visual acuity screening, thorough dilated eye analysis, and advanced tests to detect the presence of glaucoma and other eye diseases. Keep in mind that having your pupils dilated, which is necessary in order to allow an unobstructed view of the eye’s interior, will make your eyes much more sensitive to light and may make it difficult for you to focus on nearby objects, temporarily impairing your ability to drive safely. We advise that patients bring sunglasses with them, or use the ones that we can provide, and that they make arrangements to have someone else drive them home after their appointment.
How often should I get a comprehensive vision exam?
The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) recommends that all men and women undergo a complete eye exam at least once between the ages of 20 and 29 and at least twice between the ages of 30 and 39. They should also 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, based on your individual needs. Seniors age 65 and over generally should undergo complete eye exams every one to two years to check for cataracts, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and other eye conditions.
Do children need to undergo comprehensive vision screening?
During childhood, adolescence, and particularly during puberty, a child’s eyesight can change very quickly, so regular exams should be done in order to ensure that those changes aren’t negatively affecting the child’s vision from one year to the next. The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) recommends that all children receive vision testing every two years if no vision correction is required, or annually if eyeglasses or contact lenses are required, starting at around 3 years of age and lasting through their teenage years. Modern eye tests administered by trained eye care specialists, like those at Georgia Eye Physicians and Surgeons, can even detect certain eye problems in children who do not yet know their letters or who are too young or too shy to verbalize their responses.
If you have concerns about your vision, or would like to schedule an appointment for a comprehensive vision exam, please contact Georgia Eye Physicians and Surgeons today to make an appointment. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more tips for healthy eyes.