It can be easy to overlook routine appointments when we aren’t experiencing any unpleasant or debilitating symptoms. Nevertheless, routine eye appointments are recommended for all patients on a fairly regular basis. Exactly how often will depend on the health of your eyes and your ability to see clearly, but most patients are invited to have a comprehensive eye exam at least one every two years.
We are able to offer routine eye exams, carried out by our experienced and knowledgeable professionals at our eye care practice in Rockport, ME.
It is very important that you take the time to attend your routine eye exams. They are valuable for several reasons.
Firstly, it is important to realize that an eye exam is just as much about checking the health of your eyes as it is about evaluating how clear and concise your vision is. There are many different types of eye diseases that can affect us, some of which are particularly prevalent in the United States. Estimates suggest that as many as 7 million Americans have glaucoma and 24 million have cataracts. Both of these can severely compromise your vision, even leading to blindness. Unfortunately, some eye diseases do not present with obvious symptoms right away and this can mean that by the time that you become aware that there is an issue, it can have progressed to an advanced stage. The good news is that virtually all eye diseases can be detected during a routine eye exam. Many people are also surprised to learn that eye exams can also enable your professional to detect general medical problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and even some cancers.
Secondly, and perhaps more obviously, routine eye exams are used to detect changes to your eyesight. We rely on our vision perhaps more than any other sense, falling back on it to confirm what we can hear, see, feel and smell. Our eyesight is the predominant way in which we connect and react to our environment. However, many people have less than perfect vision. There are lots of different ways in which our sight can be adversely affected. Refractive errors, which occur as a result of the way light is processed by our eyes, are the leading reason for patients to opt for prescription eyewear. However, other issues such as problems with depth perception, the eyes not working properly together and optical misalignment can necessitate the use of prescription lenses to correct your vision.
The average routine eye exam usually takes between 20 and 30 minutes, but as each is tailored to the needs of the individual, this can vary between patients. We will usually begin with a discussion during which we ask you questions about your lifestyle, how you feel your vision is currently and whether you have experienced any changes since your last visit. After this, we will move on to the diagnostic element of your appointment. These involve some or all of a series of different tests. Again, which you will be given will depend on your individual circumstances, but typically they will include:
These are used to assess how healthy your retina, which is the section of light-sensitive cells at the back of each eye is.
This is important for patients that wear contact lenses as the slit lamp examines the cornea, iris and lens to check for scratches or other damage.
This measures intraocular pressure by bouncing a puff of air into each eye. If you are found to have high pressure, this could indicate that you have or are developing glaucoma.
This piece of equipment is also used to examine the condition of the retina and can be valuable in detecting the early signs of high blood pressure or diabetes.
The test that people are most familiar with, it involves reding from a chart to test your near and distance vision.
This looks at how well your eyes focus and will enable our eye doctors to estimate a prescription for corrective lenses.
If you have any questions about routine eye exams, or to schedule your appointment for a comprehensive assessment performed by our experienced team, please contact our offices in Rockport, ME.