With the rush of our daily lives, it’s easy for things to slip your mind. You may forget to take the trash out or to return that phone call from your mom. But one thing you never want to forget is to schedule a vision screening.
It’s natural to have questions before making that appointment. Your eye care is important to us, so we answered some of the most common ones for you.
What does your eye doctor look for during a vision screening?
You may have received a vision screening at work or at school years ago. Maybe you had a screening when you renewed your driver’s license.
This is not the same as a comprehensive eye exam. A screening is usually performed by volunteers, a school nurse, or a DMV employee and will last only a few minutes.
During a screening, you will be tested for major problems as quickly as possible. Some things that are tested for include blurred vision and loss of muscle control. This is usually done by reading the letters on an eye chart.
What is the difference between a vision screening and an eye exam?
A vision screening is intended to identify people with undetected vision problems. During a screening, you will be tested for many things including symptoms of major eye problems, and if the person performing the screening foresees any major issues, they will recommend you schedule an appointment with your optometrist or ophthalmologist for further examination.
A comprehensive eye exam, on the other hand, is an in-depth examination performed by an optometrist or ophthalmologist. During an eye exam, you will be checked not only for visual acuity and color blindness but also for signs of serious eye problems, like glaucoma and cataracts. Vision problems can be treated if they are detected early.
Early signs of serious health problems can also be detected during your eye exam. These can include high blood pressure as well as the risk of stroke and diabetes.
Your doctor will discuss your results and go over any eye care instructions they may have.
Adults should have comprehensive vision exams every two years. However, if you’re 60 or older you should have your eyes checked once a year to make sure you are seeing as well as you should.
What is a cataract screening?
A cataract screening is usually one part of a comprehensive eye exam.
People with a cataract see the world as if they are looking through a foggy window. It can be hard to drive a car or read, and they may become more sensitive to light. Cataracts develop slowly and cloud the lens of the eye over time.
They are the leading cause of vision loss in adults 55 and older. During the screening, we will review your symptoms and medical history, and perform a few specialized tests.
These tests may include:
Visual Acuity Test – You will be asked to read a line of letters on a chart or through a viewing device. The letters will get smaller the farther down you go. Your eyes will be tested one at a time by covering first one eye, then the other. This test determines your vision at a given distance.
Slit Lamp Examination – A slit lamp is a microscope that uses a bright line of light, or a slit, to allow your doctor to examine the anatomy in the front part of your eye. This allows your eye doctor to look at your cornea, lens, iris, and the area between your cornea and iris.
Factors that increase your risk of cataracts include:
- Previous eye injury
- Previous eye surgery
- Extreme exposure to sunlight
- Use of certain medications
- High blood pressure
- Excessive alcohol use
A vision screening should be a part of everyone’s regular health routine. Undetected vision problems can lead to issues at work or school. Why take the risk?
Do your eyes a favor and call us today to schedule your vision screening.