Your eyes can tell eye doctors a lot about your overall health. Eye examinations are an important way to maintain the health of your eyes and to monitor for other health conditions as well.
Generally, it is recommended that you have your eyes checked every 5 to 10 years in your 20s and 30s, every 2 to 4 years from age 40 to 54, every 1 to 3 years between ages 55 and 64 and every 1 to 2 years after age 65.
If you have glasses or contact lenses, certain other health conditions or a family history of eye problems, you should have your eyes checked more often. Generally, when you have been prescribed contact lenses and/or eyeglasses, it is recommended that you see your eye doctor every 2 years to be sure that your prescription is the most accurate and up to date.
During your eye examination, you’ll be asked in depth questions about your personal and family health history as well as any history of eye issues.
There are a variety of tests that will be performed during an eye exam. None of these tests are painful.
The most common test is called a visual acuity test. This measures how clearly you can see. Your doctor will ask you to identify various letters printed on a chart or screen which get smaller as you move down the chart.
Your doctor will also do a refraction assessment, which is most often done by having you look through a device and estimate which lenses give you the most clear vision.
Your eye muscles will also be tested by the doctor who will ask you to track a moving object like a small light or pen.
Your peripheral vision will also be tested in various ways. The doctor could do this by sitting in front of you and moving her hand in front of you, and requesting that you let her know when you see her hand come into your vision. This may also be done on a screen with a target at the centre and an object that moves into your peripheral vision, or with a screen with blinking lights on it.
Your colour vision will also be tested as the doctor askes you to pick out numbers and shapes from different coloured backgrounds.
You may be screened for glaucoma as well. Typically, this is done by a small and painless puff of air into your eye, which estimates the pressure in your eye. Occasionally, you may require numbing drops for a more direct examination.
Some eye doctor’s offices will also examine the retina in your eyes by shining a light through your pupil and examining the back of your eye. This test, once again, is not painful.
Regular eye examinations are an important component of your overall health, and many eye issues can be treated if they are caught early on. Don’t forget to schedule your eye exam today!