Your Eye Exam Specialists
We strongly encourage everyone to get a comprehensive eye exam once a year. Even if you do not have vision problems, a vision “check-up” can be critical in spotting and treating issues before they affect your vision. This is especially important for children who may not even realize that the problems they may be having in school are actually vision related. Our comprehensive eye exam is designed to provide a complete evaluation of vision health for all of our North Phoenix and Scottsdale patients.
Why are Eye Exams Important?
During an eye exam, our VSP optometrists are not only determining the proper prescription for your eyeglasses, but also checking your eyes for common eye diseases. With some simple tests we can detect the early onset of a serious eye illness such as glaucoma. With early detection, your chances of successful treatment are much higher. Our eye doctors will also assess how your eyes work together. Your eyes can be an indicator of your overall health, and our eye doctors will evaluate if there are any non-vision health issues that you should be aware of.
What’s the Difference Between a Vision Screening and a Complete Eye Exam?
A vision screening can be helpful but it is by no means a substitute for a comprehensive eye exam. Vision screenings are used to help identify those at risk for vision problems and are often performed by a school nurse or volunteer. Even the test conducted by the clerk at the Drivers License Bureau is a form of vision screening. While these efforts can be helpful, they are not conducted by experienced professionals who have the training to detect eye disease.
A comprehensive eye examination performed by our optometrists involves careful testing of every aspect of your vision. The exam will give the eye doctor enough information to recommend a personal treatment plan. These exams are much more thorough than the simple vision check conducted by family physicians and pediatricians as part of a medical check-up.
Treatment plans can be as simple as recommending eyeglasses or as serious as spotting a need for eye surgery. The point is that only with a comprehensive eye exam can you be sure that your eyes are getting the best treatment available. That is why no matter who you are, annual eye exams are essential to ensure you are seeing clearly and preserving your vision for life.
Which Procedures Are Part of a Comprehensive Eye Examination?
A comprehensive eye exam includes a variety of procedures to evaluate the health of your eyes and the quality of your vision. Some – like reading an eye chart -are most likely familiar to you. However, unless you have had a comprehensive eye exam, many of the evaluations will be new. For example:
- An autorefractor evaluates the way an image is focused on the retina, where vision processing takes place, without the need for you to give feedback. This makes autorefractors especially useful when examining people who may have difficulty with a regular (“subjective”) refraction.
- Cover tests, in which the eye doctor will have you focus on a small object at a distance and will then cover each of your eyes, can detect even a very subtle misalignment that can interfere with your eyes working together properly (binocular vision) and cause amblyopia or “lazy eye.”
- Tonometry is the name for a variety of tests that can be performed to determine the pressure inside the eye. The most common method used is the “air puff” test – in which an automated instrument discharges a small burst of air onto the surface of your eye. Based on your eye’s resistance to the puff of air, the machine calculates the pressure inside your eye – called your intraocular pressure. Though the test itself can be startling, there’s no risk of eye injury from the air puff test as only air touches your eye during this measurement.
There are other tests that the eye doctor may decide to perform based on his or her observations, almost all of which are quick and painless. They are, however, very important in assessing the overall health of your eyes.