Many people believe that a vision screening provided by a school, pediatrician, or driver’s license bureau is the same as comprehensive eye care. However, according to the American Optometric Association, vision screening methods cannot be relied on to identify children and adults who need vision care effectively. Vision screenings are limited, usually administered by untrained personnel, with inadequate testing equipment. An early diagnosis and appropriate treatment of eye and vision problems through a comprehensive eye exam can help prevent vision loss.
Vision Health Statistics
Statistics provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that:
- Approximately 11 million Americans over age 12 need vision correction
- In the U.S., the number of blind and visually impaired people is estimated to double by 2030
- Of an estimated 93 million US adults at high risk for vision loss, only 50% have seen an eye doctor in the past 12 months.
- Only 39% of preschool children have had their vision tested.
What is a Comprehensive Eye Exam?
Comprehensive Eye Care (CEC) ensures that people have access to eye care services that meet their needs at every stage of life. CEC includes not only prevention and treatment services but also vision rehabilitation. CEC care also aims to address the full spectrum of eye diseases.
A licensed Optometry practice offers a wide range of vision services to our patients. It’s our responsibility to help patients understand eye health while providing complete internal and external eye exams and diagnosis and treatment of visual problems, eye syndromes, and diseases.
What does a Comprehensive Eye Exam Include?
Comprehensive eye exams conducted by an optometrist are essential for caring for your eyes, vision, and overall health. A comprehensive adult eye and vision exam may include but is not limited to the following tests.
Visual acuity: Visual acuity measurements evaluate the clarity of each eye. Charts read by a patient with one eye closed are used to measure each eye’s visual acuity. The patient reads letters on charts at a distance and near. Normal visual acuity is 20/20, meaning a person would have to get within 20 feet to see a letter on the chart clearly at 20 feet.
Visual function: Visual function tests include evaluations of color vision, depth perception, peripheral and side vision. The way your pupils respond to light and eye muscle movements are also part of your visual function.
Eye Focus testing: An optometrist will test how well your eyes change focus, move, and work together to see a clear image.
Refraction testing: Using a series of lenses and a retinoscope, an optometrist will evaluate the focusing power of your eyes and refine the lens power to compensate for:
- Nearsightedness: Nearsightedness, also known as myopia, is a vision condition where people have trouble seeing objects at a distance.
- Farsightedness: Farsightedness, also known as Hyperopia, is a vision condition where people have trouble seeing objects at close range.
- Astigmatism: Astigmatism is an eye condition causing blurriness due to an irregularly shaped cornea.
The test results help determine the lenses that will provide you the clearest vision.
When an optometrist focuses a circle of light on the cornea, or the clear outer surface of the eye, the light measures its reflection. This cornea testing measures the cornea’s curvature, which is necessary for contact lenses.
Eye Health Evaluation
An optometrist will temporarily dilate your pupils with eye drops to evaluate the health of your eye structure and surrounding tissues. The eye drops cause pressure on the eye so the doctor can get a better view of the inside of the eye with various lenses and technology.
A licensed optometrist should perform the exam as they have the necessary training to diagnose an eye problem and prescribe treatment.
Recommend Frequency of Comprehensive Eye Exams
|Birth through 2 years||At 6 to 12 years of age|
|3 to 5 years||Once|
|6 to 17 years||Annually|
|18 to 39 years||Every two years|
|40 to 64 years||Every two years|
|65 and older||Annually|
Source: American Optometric Association
Schedule a Consultation with our Boulder, CO Optometry practice
If you or your child requires a comprehensive eye exam, schedule a complimentary consultation with our Optometry practice today. We’ll use this consultation to gather important information from you and help you determine if our practice is the right fit for you. From there, we’ll schedule a comprehensive vision evaluation. Call us at (720) 565-0445 to schedule a consultation today.