Comprehensive eye exams and vision screening are two different procedures, but both can give you an insight into your eye health. Find out more about their differences below.
What Is Vision screening?
Vision screening is a basic test that aims to determine poor vision and eye problems that may lead to vision loss. However, it cannot diagnose the exact issue. It will only look for any abnormalities. If the test finds something unusual with your eyes, you will be referred to an eye doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
The test may include the following:
Visual acuity test: If the one being tested is a child, the screener will ask them to identify letters or shapes from a distance. For adults, the test involves covering one eye and reading a chart placed 20 feet away.
Photoscreening: The trained professional will use a special camera to find any eye abnormalities.
Pupil and eye inspection: The vision screener will assess the shape and color of your eyes.
A trained vision screener carries out these tests. It could be the family doctor, the school nurse, or another certified health care professional. There is no specialized equipment needed as well. A chart may be enough.
What Is a Comprehensive Eye Exam?
A comprehensive eye exam evaluates the overall health and function of the eyes. It is different from a basic vision screening because it involves a more thorough and detailed examination of the eyes and the surrounding structures.
During a comprehensive eye exam, the optometrist or ophthalmologist will perform a series of tests to assess the following:
Visual acuity, or how well you can see letters or numbers from a distance,
Eye movement and alignment, or how well your eyes work together, and if there is any misalignment or weakness in the muscles
A refraction test determines if you have refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism.
Visual field tests evaluate your peripheral vision, or how well you can see objects at the edges of your visual field.
An eye pressure test is important for detecting glaucoma.
An eye health test includes examining the internal and external structures of the eye to detect any abnormalities, such as cataracts, macular degeneration, or diabetic retinopathy.
A comprehensive eye examination will allow your eye doctor to detect eye problems. If you get a regular eye exam, eye problems will be caught at their earliest stage, when they are most likely treatable. The eye doctor will help you treat or manage the condition, reducing the chance of experiencing vision loss.
When should I get a Comprehensive Eye Exam?
A comprehensive eye exam is recommended for individuals of all ages. If you have a clear vision of your whole life, you could take this exam when you’re 40.
Comprehensive eye exams are also important for those with a family history of eye diseases. It is also recommended for those with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or hypertension, as these can affect eye health.
Overall, a comprehensive eye exam is crucial for maintaining good eye health and preventing vision problems. It is recommended that individuals undergo a comprehensive eye exam frequently if there are any concerns or risk factors for eye disease.
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