The Importance of Routine Eye Exams
Many think of eye exams as something only people with vision problems need, but the truth of the matter is that many eye conditions can go unnoticed until permanent damage occurs. Eye exams are important for identifying such eye conditions before they cause harm so that vision may be preserved and eye health protected.
At GW Eye Associates, Dr. Gordon G. Wong and Dr. Wildon C. Wong provide routine eye exams for patients in La Jolla, CA, Carmel Valley, CA, San Diego, CA, and surrounding areas to help them see clearly and maintain eye health.
Why Undergo Regular Eye Exams?
Some may think that if they can see clearly, they don’t need to go to an eye doctor. While it may be true that they don’t require corrective lenses, they may have other eye issues that they are unaware of that need to be addressed. Routine eye exams can detect such issues, making them important for maintaining eye health and preserving vision.
What Eye Conditions Can a Routine Eye Exam Detect?
Routine eye exams are essential for identifying eye conditions that may not be apparent until they have caused irreparable harm. The earlier these types of conditions are detected, the better chance a patient has at preserving their vision.
Some eye conditions that may be detected during a routine eye exam include:
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Macular degeneration
- Optic nerve damage
- Optic neuritis, or inflammation of the optic nerve
- Refractive errors
General Health Conditions Are Sometimes Revealed
In addition to eye conditions, a routine eye exam may even detect some general health issues that present certain symptoms in the eyes. Some general health issues that an eye exam may bring to light include:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Lyme disease
- Brain tumor
What to Expect During an Eye Exam
During a routine eye exam, vision and eye health will be evaluated using several simple tests. During some of these tests, patients will be given instructions and ask to perform certain maneuvers with their eyes. For example, patients may be asked to follow the doctor’s finger with their eyes to assess the eye muscle movement. Vision is tested by having patients read an eye chart and pupil function is evaluated by shining a light at the eyes.
In order to further evaluate eye health, the eyes may be dilated using eye drops. A special microscope called a slit lamp may then be used to look at the structures of the eye, including inside the eye. A retinal examination may also be performed using an opthalmoscope to see the retina and structures at the back of the eye. These evaluations are important for identifying issues like macular degeneration and glaucoma.
How Often Should Routine Exams Occur?
The frequency of routine eye exams will depend on the unique needs of each patient but it is generally recommended that those who do not wear glasses and are under the age of 40 schedule a routine eye exam once every two years.
Those who wear glasses or contacts or are over the age of 40 should undergo an eye exam once a year. Eye exams may be needed more frequently if certain issues are present or if there is a family history of certain eye conditions.
Contact GW Eye Associates
Good eye health is good peace of mind. If you’re ready to schedule an eye exam, we invite you to call GW Eye Associates at (858) 283-5793.