Why You Need An Eye Exam

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Think of how much you rely on your eyesight. Because it’s the sense you rely on the most each and every day, it’s important to keep your eyes healthy and sharp so that you can enjoy your vision for the rest of your life. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that adults, with no signs or risk factors for eye disease, get a baseline eye disease screening at age 40. This is the time when early signs of vision changes and disease often start. 

It’s likely that you undergo regular vision screenings every year or so, particularly if you wear corrective lenses.

“While vision screening is ideal for identifying vision problems,” says Dr. Anne Sara Steiner, MD, director of the Northwell Health Ocular Service Center, “it cannot take the place of a comprehensive eye examination designed to identify even the earliest stages of eye disease.”

While a typical vision exam is relatively short and focused on vision correction, a comprehensive eye examination is far more detailed and thorough. During this type of exam, which can take up to two hours, you will undergo:

• A complete health and medication history and vision history
• An eye health evaluation
• Visual acuity testing to determine sharpness and clarity of both near and distance vision
• Visual field testing to determine your level of peripheral vision
• Evaluation of pupil size and pupillary responses
• Evaluation of eye movement

Using a device called a slit lamp, the front part of your eyes, as well as your eyelids, will be checked. Due in large part to our increasing use of electronic devices, dry eye has become a very common problem. If you experience frequent burning, itching or redness or have sensitivity to light, make sure to mention this to your doctor. Signs of dry eye will be identified during the exam, and there are effective preventive strategies and treatments for it.

You will also undergo an exam through dilated pupils which looks at the back of the eye, including the retina, macula and the optic nerve for signs of disease. During this part of the exam, drops are placed in each eye to widen the pupil and allow more light to enter the eye. Sight-threatening eye diseases, including age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma, can be identified.

With each part of the exam, your doctor will build a complete picture of your eye health and will work with you to make the best decisions on any treatment necessary, as well as preventive care and the suggested schedule for follow-up exams.

Call the Katz Institute at 855-850-5494 for more information about eye health.

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