Eye Disease Exam
Eye disease exams are more comprehensive examinations designed to check for and diagnose eye conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and more. If you are experiencing eye problems, you should of course make an appointment with your ophthalmologist. However, a thorough eye exam can still be a good idea, even if you don’t have any eye symptoms. In fact, if you’re 40 years of age or older, it’s recommended that you see an ophthalmologist on a two-year basis. If you’re 60 plus years of age, go at least annually.
Benefits of Eye Disease Exams
- Pick up early signs of eye diseases and conditions: The sooner you receive a diagnosis, the sooner you can get treatment and, in many cases, preserve your vision.
- Ensure your eyeglass or contact lens prescription is accurate: Your ophthalmologist can also use an eye disease exam to determine whether your glasses or contacts prescriptions need to be updated, so you can skip your regular routine eye exam.
- Diagnose other diseases not related to the eye: There are non-eye conditions that an eye disease exam can diagnose or help diagnose. These include circulatory deficiencies, AIDS, thyroid disease, lupus, hypertension, diabetes, tumors and cancer, high cholesterol and autoimmune disorders.
What Happens During an Eye Disease Exam?
The exam starts with your eye doctor going over your medical history and taking note of any current eye symptoms or changes in eye health. Your ophthalmologist will then start the exam, testing for optic nerve and retina health, eye pressure, glasses or contact lens prescription accuracy, eye movement, side vision, pupil health and visual acuity.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, these exams last about an hour. The exam starts with your eye doctor going over medical records. If you’ve had any painful symptoms or other changes in eye health, this is a good time to mention that. The eye doctor will then start the exam, testing for optic nerve and retina health, eye pressure, glasses or contact prescription accuracy, eye movement, side vision, pupil health, and visual acuity.
How Should I Prepare for an Eye Disease Exam?
- You may be dilated and may need someone to drive you home.
- Bring your glasses and contact lenses if you wear them.
- Bring any eye medications and a list of all other medications with you.