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Eye Exam
Routine vs Comprehensive

What is the difference between a Routine Eye Exam and a Comprehensive Eye Exam?

The main objective of a Routine Eye Exam is to determine whether you have a refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism) and to provide you with your glasses prescription. 

A Comprehensive Eye Exam, in addition to detecting your refractive error, evaluates the overall health of your eyes. It includes an examination of the front and back of your eyes and screening for the most common eye conditions, such as dry eyes, cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, etc.

A variation of examination may be required for specific situations such as contact lens fitting, DMV eye exam, or getting cleared for combat sports.

Why should I get an eye exam?

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, adults should get a comprehensive eye examination once in their 20s, twice in their 30s, and at the age of 40. It is often recommended annually after the age of 40. If you have an eye disease or any risk factor such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or a family history of eye disease, you should see an ophthalmologist sooner. This is because many sight-threatening conditions, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, retinal tears or detachment, and tumors, are asymptomatic until significant and often irreversible vision loss has developed. 

What should I expect during my eye exam?

Your comprehensive eye exam may take 45 to 90 minutes. We will measure your visual acuity and examine your pupils, eye movements, side vision, eye pressure, front, and back of your eyes, including the retina and optic nerve.

We may take color pictures of the front and/or back of the eye. We may also perform specialized imaging or tests such as OCT, fluorescein angiography, or visual field analysis to further examine your eyes.

Can I refuse to have my pupils dilated?

Yes, you can refuse any part of your examination that you are not comfortable with.

Some serious eye conditions, such as retinal tears, retinal detachment, and tumors, are usually located in the periphery of the retina. Dilating your pupils allows us to examine the periphery of your retina with much more accuracy than non-dilation exams. Even the most advanced ultra-widefield retinal imaging does not replace dilation, as it can only capture 80% of the surface of the retina.

We use dilating eye drops to dilate your pupils. Dilation may last 4 to 6 hours and make your near vision blurry. You may also be more sensitive to light, so please feel free to ask us for dark shades before you leave.

How the Eye Works

How the Eye Works

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Dilation Eye Exam

Dilation Eye Exam

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