Eye Exams

Eye Exams

Getting a comprehensive dilated eye exam is one of the best things you can do to preserve your vision and keep your eyes healthy. It is also essential for keeping up with the progress of your other medical conditions, as well as make sure your medications are not causing any ocular affects. In this painless exam, an ophthalmologist (medical eye doctor/eye surgeon) examines your eyes to look for common and rare vision problems and eye diseases, many of which have no early warning signs or symptoms.

Different from the basic eye exam you may require for glasses or contact lenses, a comprehensive dilated eye exams can help protect your sight by making sure you are seeing your best and detecting eye diseases in their early stages, before vision loss has occurred.

A comprehensive dilated eye exam includes the following:

Visual acuity test—This eye chart test measures how well you see at various distances. At this point, you would likely be measured by your eye specialist to see if you need glasses or not.

Slit Lamp Exam– A specialized microscope allows the ophthalmologist to view the front and back of your eye under significant magnification. This helps determine if there are any microscopic or large conditions in or on the surface of your eyes.

Tonometry—This test helps your eye doctor detect glaucoma by measuring eye pressure. Elevated pressure is a possible sign of glaucoma.

Dilation—Drops are placed in your eyes to dilate, or widen, the pupils. Your eye doctor uses a special magnifying lens to examine your retina to look for signs of damage and other eye problems, such as diabetic or hypertensive retinopathy, retinal detachments, retinal diseases from your medications or macular degeneration. A dilated eye exam also allows your ophthalmologist to check for damage to the optic nerve that occurs when a person has glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, strokes, diabetes and other neurologic conditions

Further tests may also be included as part of your exam:

Visual Field Test – This test measures your peripheral (side) vision and field of view. It helps your eye doctor find out if your field of vision sustained damage, such as in glaucoma, strokes, brain tumors and other neurologic conditions.
Fundus Photograpghy – A photograph of your retina or optic nerve (or both) may be taken for future comparison in follow-up exams to evaluate for any new changes or damage.

Ocular Ultrasound (B-scan) – An ultrasound is useful to determine if there are any microscopic or large retinal structural damages, even when they cannot be visualized because of dense cataracts or even blood in the eye. It also allows your eye doctor to determine different types of masses or even visualize and quantitate floaters.

Anterior Chamber Scans (ACS) – An ultrasound of the eye allow your ophthalmologist to visualize and determine if you are at an increased or high likelihood for developing a rapid and painful form of glaucoma. It also allows visualization and evaluation of iris tumors and irregularities.

Specular Microscopy – A photo of the innermost layer of your cornea will allow your eye doctor to determine if you have any genetic or acquired diseases of the cornea.
It also allows the ophthalmologist to personally customize your cataract surgery and let you understand any potential corneal risks from cataract surgery. This is very important when determining if a patient is an appropriate medical candidate for laser vision correction, such as LASIK.

External Photography – A photograph or the surface of your eye or eyelids may be taken for future comparison in follow-up exams to evaluate for any new changes of ocular surface and eyelid conditions, such as pterygium, chalazion, stye, and tumors.

Scanning Laser Tomography – A rapid photograph using colored lights that gives a microscopic structural evaluation of your optic nerve and/or retina. It allows your eye doctor to determine if there are any structural defects or swelling of your optic nerve and/or retina, and also allows for future comparison for any new microscopic changes, not visible or ordinary examinations. This is useful when monitoring for progression of glaucoma, diabetic or hypertensive eye diseases and other retinal diseases.

Corneal Topography – A quick photograph that allows your ophthalmologist to map structural abnormalities in the cornea due to corneal infections, and genetic or acquired corneal diseases.

Axial Scan (A-scan) – A measurement of the size of your eye which is vital to helping your eye doctor determine what type and size of implant to use in cataract surgery.

Color Vision Test – A set of color plates that allows your eye doctor to determine if a person has color vision deficits, which can be due to genetic color blindness, optic nerve diseases or even caused by some medications that you take.

Stereo Vision Test – A test to determine if a person has any deficits in their 3-dimentional (3D) vision. This can be due to strabismus (crossed or turned eye), eye muscle conditions, or lazy eye.

Sensorymotor Test – A comprehensive neurologic and motor test used by an ophthalmologist to determine causes and extent of misalignment of the eyes.