What's Involved In An Eye Exam?

Often called a comprehensive eye exam, we have a lot to offer you at our Seattle office!

 

During this exam, our doctors will assess your need for prescription contact lenses or glasses, and do preventative screening for common eye diseases.  Eyes are often an indicator of overall health - so you are doing more for yourself than just an “eye check” when you come in to see us!  Curious as to what else we can see? We wrote a blog about it here.

 

We include a number of tests and procedures to assess the quality of your vision and to help evaluate the health of your eyes.  

 

We start the exam in a room near the end of our long hallway which houses many of our advanced technology machines.

Testing there includes the following tools:

Auto-refractor: this uses light technology to assess your prescription strength, the thickness of your cornea and creates a topographic map (a fancy word which means it allows us to measure the roundness of your eye.)

Icare: this tool allows us to measure the surface tension on the outside of your eye.  It is in place of the air-puff machine which so many patients disliked.  Yay for new technology!

Retinal Photos:  We offer a digital imaging option to our patients as well, which can be used in place of traditional dilation of the eyes.  Traditional dilation last hours, and has side effects such as sensitivity to light. You are not able to drive until the effects wear off.  (Even though Seattle is often cloudy, light sensitivity can be an issue when working on a computer or just being outside in cloud-filtered light.) This test gives the doctor a chance to see the back of your eyeball and assess the retina for any abnormalities.  The digital image technology allows the doctor to see what is needed, and you can walk out the door and return to activities without any side effects.

 

Then we move to one of our exam rooms where we complete the exam with these:

Peripheral Vision Test: We check to ensure you can see off to the side, with your eyes looking straight ahead.  This checks your ability to see in the outer edge of your visual field.

 

Slitlamp: This is the one where you rest your chin on a surface, while the doctor shines a light in your eye.  It allows us to see the front and back of the eye and check for issues such as: disease, congenital abnormalities, scarring and inflammation.

 

We test your vision in the exam room with your current prescription using an phoropter.  This is the big one that swings around in front of your eyes and you look through while the doctor changes lenses and you get the “Which do you like better one, or two?” options.
 

Standard questions are then asked about your health history, and family history.

 

After all the testing and eye exam, you will get to meet with one of our opticians (the experts at picking out just the right glasses for you and your prescription.)

 

Our doctors recommend that you have a complete eye exam every two years, unless you have a prescription, when we recommend yearly exams.  (These exams schedules are as per the American Optometric Association Guidelines.)  In certain cases our doctors will recommend more frequent appointments to ensure your well-being.  Common factors for these exams include: 

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Other disorders/diseases

 

Children need eye exams too!  For a list of specifics, you can read our article on kid's eye health. Our experts recommend routine exams at 6 months, age 3 and once your child start’s school.  Children with existing vision problems or risk factors should have their eyes examined more frequently.  Common risk factors for vision problems include:

  • History of eye injury
  • Developmental delays
  • Premature birth
  • Turned or crossed eyes
  • Family history of eye disease
  • Other physical illness or disease


 We strive to make your visit with us a fantastic experience; where you can learn more about your unique vision needs and take comfort in knowing we care about you.  Book your eye exam with us today!

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