Comprehensive Eye Exams

Comprehensive eye examinations are an important part of any preventative health care plan. The reality is that many eye conditions do not present obvious symptoms; people are often unaware that a problem exists until it is too late. Regular diagnostic testing and treatment of eye conditions is essential to maintaining eye health and visual acuity for both adults and children.

What is a comprehensive eye exam?

A comprehensive eye exam is designed to evaluate vision and the health of your eyes. Eye doctors use a combination of tests and procedures during these exams. The tests can be simple, like reading an eye chart, or they can be complex, like undergoing a slit-lamp examination. The tests are painless but extremely effective.

Reasons for undergoing a comprehensive eye exam

Comprehensive eye examinations focus on the overall health of the eye as well as the accuracy of vision. School-age children are urged to undergo comprehensive eye exams every year. Of course, school screenings take place to determine if a child has "good" vision; however, these tests do not examine the health of the eyes as a whole. The best way to ensure that your children do not develop a vision-related learning disorder is to schedule comprehensive eye examinations for them annually.

Comprehensive eye exams for adults are just as important. The risk of developing certain eye diseases only increases with age. Comprehensive eye exams allow physicians to screen for everything from glaucoma to diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and macular degeneration.

Performing comprehensive eye exams

Comprehensive eye examinations can take an hour or more, depending on the number and nature of tests required. Here are just a few of the different vision tests and screenings that are commonly performed during a comprehensive eye exam:

  • Patient medical history 
  • Visual acuity testing and eye charts 
  • Color blindness test 
  • Cover test (to test how eyes work together) 
  • Retinoscopy and refraction (to measure eyeglass prescription) 
  • Slit-lamp exam (to gauge the health of eyes) 
  • Glaucoma test (intraocular pressure test) 
  • Pupil dilation 
  • Visual field test

Even if you do not think you are having any vision problems, you should schedule regular comprehensive eye examinations to catch any issues in their early stages.