The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends an annual eye exam for any adult who wears eyeglasses or contacts. If you don’t normally need vision correction, you still need an eye exam every year. Doctors often recommend more frequent examinations for adults with diabetes, high blood pressure, and other disorders, because many diseases can have an impact on vision and eye health. Learn about eye care services (tests for visual acuity, ocular motility, color blindness, cover test, prescription services, diseases, and conditions risk assessment) you receive during a comprehensive eye examination.
One of the most important health care visits you will engage in each year is your comprehensive eye exam. Even if you aren’t currently struggling with your vision or wearing eyeglasses/contact lenses, comprehensive eye exams are important to evaluate your eye health and assess for common eye diseases, problems, or injuries. Your eyes speak volumes about your overall health. A comprehensive eye exam utilizes a number of tests to examine and evaluate the overall health of your eyes and the quality of your vision. Optical Masters tests range from simple to complex. Learn about what tests are available and what you can learn from them about your eye health.
Have you ever wondered what 20/20 means? It refers to your results from a standard visual acuity test. Visual acuity tests assess the smallest letters you are able to view on a standardized Snellen chart or card held 20 feet from you. Your visual acuity results are shown as a fraction. The top number will represent the distance you are from the chart (in most cases 20 feet); the bottom number represents the distance that normal eyesight could read the same line you correctly read. 20/20 is considered normal. 20/40 means that the line you correctly read at 20 feet away can be read by a person with normal vision from 40 feet away. Visual acuity is an important yearly test to assess for even minute vision changes.
Ocular motility tests how your eyes work together. It assesses the twelve extraocular muscles and their impact on eye movement. Each eye has six muscles, four recti and two obliques, which, when functioning properly, allow the eyes to work together in a balanced way. This test observes how your eye moves in six different directions, testing each of the six different muscles. Most commonly, this test is administered by asking you to track an object--such as a pen--while sitting or standing, and while looking straight ahead. Your Optical Masters provider will hold the pen about 16 inches from your face and move it in the different directions asking you to track it with just your eyes, keeping your head stationary. This test is important because it evaluates weaknesses or issues with the extraocular muscles. Problems with these muscles can result in double vision or rapid, uncontrolled eye movements.
Color blindness or color vision test is administered to assess your color vision abilities. Problems with color vision can be present from birth or they can indicate that there is a problem with the optic nerve. In the test, the patient is shown several cards (Ishihara plates) with colored dot patterns. In the patterns, some of the dots will appear to form numbers or symbols. You will be asked to identify the symbols, if possible.
The cover tests are used to discover the misalignment of the eyes. You focus on a target, while your Optical Masters examiner covers each eye sequentially to look for a "shift" in the alignment of your eyes.
During an annual eye exam, the test is administered to assess your vision and prescription services are offered if your vision needs support. Patients can choose eyeglasses or contact lenses to help support vision errors or problems that are limiting their vision potential. Prescriptions involve different symbols that are used to classify the extent of your visual needs and the type of needs you have. You can discuss the numbers on your eyeglass prescription and the abbreviated terms (OD, OS, SPH, and CYL) with your examiner, but we have also included some information for you below. It is important to note that eyeglass and contact lens prescriptions aren't the same. The lens power required for your eyes to focus properly differs between eyeglasses and contacts since contacts rest directly on the eyes and eyeglasses is position some distance from the eyes.
OD: Oculus Dexter (right eye)
OS: Oculus Sinister (left eye)
SPH: Sphere-- the amount of lens power, measured in diopters (D), prescribed to correct nearsightedness or farsightedness. If the number appearing under this heading has a minus sign (–), you are nearsighted; if the number has a plus sign (+) or is not preceded by a plus sign or a minus sign, you are farsighted.
CYL: Cylinder-- the amount of lens power for astigmatism. If nothing appears in this column, either you have no astigmatism or it is too slight to reference.
During your comprehensive exam, we also conduct a disease/conditions risk assessment. Familiarity with the symptoms of common eye diseases can help you prevent an initially minor infection or problem from becoming a major health issue. Some eye diseases can be indicators of deeper, underlying health problems such as diabetes or high blood pressure, which with the right treatment can be managed or even eradicated. However, it is essential that you have regular general health checks, as well as regular eye tests to ensure a healthy lifestyle.
Stay on top of your eye health by scheduling an annual eye exam to assess for your current eye health and prevent problems. Our Optical Masters team is dedicated to providing you with 20/20 vision (100% sight!) and premium care. We have two convenient Denver locations to meet your needs. Give us a call today at our Leetsdale & Monaco location: (720) 782-2190, or our Evans & Federal Location: (720) 782-2190.