Eye Care & Protection

Eye Care & Protection

Comprehensive eye exams are the best way to ensure healthy vision for you and your family, it's important to have one annually. If you have never had an exam, if it has been a long time since you visited your eye care provider, or if you notice changes in your vision, it is probably time to schedule an appointment. Adults should continue to have their eyes examined annually to keep prescriptions current and check for early signs of various eye diseases and issues.

Preparing for Your Eye Exam

As with a physical examination, it is important to know your medical history when preparing for your eye exam. Your eye care provider will ask about your vision, medications, your health history and your family's health history. Visit familyhistory.hhs.gov to begin organizing a complete family health history.

During Your Eye Exam

Your eye care provider will perform a number of tests to check for certain conditions such as amblyopia and strabismus, but also other diseases and systemic conditions that can affect vision. Tests will be conducted on each eye’s internal and external structures to evaluate the retina, optic nerve, muscles, cornea, blood vessels, pupil, lens, iris, conjunctiva, eyelid and eyelashes. Below is more information about an eye exam’s different stages.

Visual System

In this stage, your eye care provider performs the Fundus Evaluation to examine the eyes, and specifically the retina. This procedure detects vision problems related to cataracts, glaucoma, diabetes, high blood pressure and brain disorders. Your eye care provider will also examine your eye muscles at this time and their ability to rotate and coordinate properly. This can include dilation of the pupil to get a clearer view of the internal structures in the back of the eye, tonometry tests to check for internal eye pressure, and use of a slit lamp, which gives the eye care provider a highly magnified view of your eye.

Refractive

This part of the exam tests your ability to see clearly and to focus your eyes. Your eye care provider will place a series of corrective lenses in front of your eyes ask you to read an eye chart at a distance. Based, in part, on whether or not the lenses improve your vision helps determine whether you need corrective lenses.

Disposition

This is the exam’s conclusion, where your eye care provider makes a final diagnosis and determines the appropriate treatment plan. The diagnosis includes your vision status and any eye health problems. Following this you will receive your prescription and have an opportunity to review and select your lens and frame options. 

Learn more about eye exams for kids or teens.

Looking for an Optometrist or an Ophthalmologist near you?

Visit thinkaboutyoureyes.com and use their Eye Doctor Locator!