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What to expect from your comprehensive eye exam

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Comprehensive eye exams are an important part of keeping your vision clear and your eyes healthy. This is true for children and adults alike, as eye and vision conditions that go undetected and untreated can cause severe difficulties in learning or working, and result in vision loss or even blindness. But what can you expect from a comprehensive eye exam, and how can it help you?

Eye Exams Step-By-Step

There are a number of steps to a standard comprehensive eye exam. These may include:

Measuring visual acuity. This helps your eye doctor see if you need glasses or contact lenses to help you see better. You’ll look at an eye chart and identify different letters printed on a chart positioned about 20 feet away. The letters get smaller as you move down the chart to measure how well you see.

Eye pressure measurements. Your eye doctor may put numbing drops into your eye. They will then measure your inner eye pressure by either using a machine that blows a puff of air into your eye, or performing a test in which they press gently on the eye to observe the amount of pressure it takes to temporarily flatten the cornea.

Eye health evaluation. Your eye doctor may put dilation drops in your eye to make it easier to examine the inside. After these drops take effect, your eye doctor may perform a number of checks and tests using lights and imaging to evaluate the front and inside of each eye.

Other Types of Eye Exams

Your doctor might also use several other tests to check your vision and the appearance and function of all parts of your eyes. These include:

  • Eye muscle tests to evaluate the muscles that control eye movement.
  • Retinal examination and retinal photography to assess the health of the back of your eye.
  • Slit-lamp exam with or without fluorescein dye to examine the eyelids, lashes, cornea, iris, lens and fluid chamber between your cornea and iris.
  • Color vision testing
  • Visual field testing to check the health of your peripheral vision.

At Eye Mechanix, we put your family's needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 773-857-1260 or book an appointment online to see one of our Lincoln Park eye doctors.

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Q&A

Do I need to bring anything to my eye exam?

You should bring any prescription eyeglasses or contacts you currently use, so that your eye doctor can see if they are still the right prescription for you. You may also want to bring a pair of sunglasses, in case your eye doctor chooses to dilate your eyes for the exam. If your eyes are dilated, you may also want a friend of family member to drive you home.

Is there a difference between a vision screening and a comprehensive eye exam?

Yes. Vision screenings are designed to check 20/20 visual acuity, and will only catch the most obvious cases of conditions such as strabismus or amblyopia. By contrast, a comprehensive eye exam is designed to check your overall vision health and catch a range of potentially sight-threatening diseases that a vision screening would easily miss.