A comprehensive eye examination is much more than what most people think. A myriad of problems can be detected during an eye exam, from the relatively 'simple' headache and eyestrain problems, all the way up to diabetic complications, auto-immune diseases (e.g. arthritis-type issues), vascular conditions and even brain tumors. It includes, first and foremost, a look at your medical and eye health histories, both the patients' own and any pertinent family histories. For example, family history can play a role in increasing one's chances of developing glaucoma, color vision problems or certain retinal diseases like macular degeneration.
Specifically a comprehensive eye exam includes assessing the following: 1) Visual acuity in each eye individually and binocularly, at both near and distance. 2) Checking eye muscle movement and alignment, a common culprit in diplopia or (double vision complaints). 3) Pupil condition is assessed as a way to look for neurological problems. 4) Eye pressures are measured to check for glaucoma. 5) Checking refractive state and focusing abilities at all relevant distances. Never underestimate the value correcting even small refractive errors can have on a patient's quality of life issues, e.g. headache relief, being much less tired at the end of a workday, or driving much more safely at night. 6) Examining the front surfaces of the eyes and related tissues for common dry eye, allergies and conjunctivitis conditions, including treatment and management. 7) Checking the inside of the eyes to look for cataracts, retinal problems that can be sight-threatening if not caught early.
Finally, it is the Optometrist's job to advise you about your best options to ensure healthy eyes and vision in the future, as well as lifestyle options available for your glasses or contacts. The Doctor can also assess if you need to be referred to another specialist for further care, or directed to a certified optician to better help you with eyeglass frame and lens choices.
The great advantage we have here at Inland Eye Specialists is our aaccess to numerous specialists for the areas of cataracts, retina, eyelids, pediatrics and corneal care available for immediate consultations. Especially for emergencies this can be a sight-saving advantage by having the specialist on staff. Your comprehensive eye examination takes about 15-20 minutes, but plan on being here about an hour in case its necessary to be dilated.