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What is a Comprehensive Eye Exam?

What is a Comprehensive Eye Exam?

Many people believe that their eyes are healthy. However, eye strain is very common. Eye strain can cause headaches and vision problems. For many people, it is caused by computer screens, phones, and even not wearing glasses. So, a comprehensive eye exam can help you find out what vision problems you have.


What Happens During a Comprehensive Eye Exam?

A comprehensive eye exam can include a tonometry exam and dilation exam, along with a visual acuity test and a visual field test.

The tonometry exam helps detect if there is glaucoma. The eye care professional will direct a small puff of air into the eye or may use a pressure-sensitive tip near or on the eye. This allows them to evaluate the eye’s pressure because any change in eye pressure is a risk factor of glaucoma. You may need to have numbing drops applied before the testing to help the eye care professional complete the exam.

Dilation is the main part of the comprehensive eye exam. This exam allows the eye care doctor to see inside of your eye. You will have drops applied to each eye, and the drops widen your pupils. After the pupil is dilated, more light is allowed into the eye. Once the drops have dilated the eyes, each of your eyes will be examined with a specialised magnifying lens. This allows the eye care professional to see the tissues in the back of the eye.

They will examine the macule, optic nerve, and retina. This exam is important since there are no other safe ways of examining the back of the eye at the moment. The dilation drops can work for hours, so this test may be done at the end of your exam. You also should not drive after a dilation exam because your eyes are going to be highly sensitive to light.

The visual acuity test has you read an eye chart. This test helps the eye care professional gauge how you see at different distances.

Visual field tests will measure your peripheral vision. The loss of the peripheral vision can be a sign of glaucoma.


When Should You Have a Comprehensive Eye Exam?

A comprehensive eye exam should be done every 4 - 6 years and is done in place of your normal eye exam. You should also think about having the comprehensive eye exam done, especially if you are experiencing eye strain or tired eyes regularly.

Eye strain and tired eyes are symptoms of many eye problems, which can be caused by everyday activities like looking at digital displays for more than two hours. Tired eyes and eye strain can also be caused by vision problems that are minor at the time. Many times, eye strain can be helped with specialised glasses and eye resting tools.