What is a thorough eye exam?

A thorough eye examination is vital for early diagnosis and treatment of any eye condition or disease. You can help your optometrist conduct a thorough exam by bringing information about your family and personal health history including allergies, medications, problems you are experiencing with your vision and on-the-job and recreational vision needs. Your optometrist will use this information in assessing eye health and vision as well as for prescribing eyewear and, if needed, treatment of eye disease.

Here is what a comprehensive eye exam consists of:

  • A Review of your family and personal health history
  • An examination of your eye’s exterior and interior for signs of eye disease or general health problems such as diabetes or hardening of the arteries that may show up in the eyes
  • Eye pressure and field of vision tests to diagnose glaucoma
  • Tests of your ability to see sharply and clearly at near and far distances
  • Tests to determine the presence of nearsightedness farsightedness, astigmatism, depth perception problems, and (for people over the age of 40) presbyopia, an age-related condition affecting reading vision.
  • A check of eye coordination and eye muscle function to be certain the eyes are working together was a team.
  • A test of the ability to change focus easily from near to far and vice versa.

Additional tests that are part of a comprehensive eye examination for young children are:

  • A check for any indications of crossed-eyes or that the child is not using one eye
  • Tests to check eye-hand coordination
  • If necessary, a series of tests to determine development of visual motor skills – input of visual information through tracking, focusing, eye teaming, etc. and visual perceptual skills – processing of information through visual memory, visual discrimination, etc…

Thorough care also includes a discussion of the exam’s findings and any treatment the optometrist prescribes, as well as personal advice about such matters as good vision on the job, eye safety, maintain eye health, prescription lens choices and environmental factors such as lighting, affecting a person’s eyes and vision.

When making an appointment for an eye exam you should: ask about the eye care services provided in the examination fee quoted. During the exam, you should ask the optometrist what each test covers as the test is done.

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