What happens in an Eye Examination?

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Why have an Eye Exam?

Everyone of all ages should have regular eye examinations.

Even if you do not have glasses or think your eyes are perfectly okay, it is still recommended to have routine eye exams.

There are eye diseases that have no symptoms and the only way to determine if your eyes are healthy is to have regular, comprehensive eye examinations by an Optometrist.

What an Eye Exam can tell you

The eye is regarded as one of the most complex organs in the human body. Though most people have normal and healthy eyes, many problems and diseases can result. Optometrists will perform many different tests to determine focusing of the eye and/or the health of the eye.

Common conditions that affect the focusing of your eye:

  • Myopia or short-sightedness
  • Hyperopia or long-sightedness
  • Astigmatism
  • Presbyopia (Whēkaro)

Common eye diseases that Optometrists can detect in an eye exam:

  • Cataracts (Mate arotahi)
  • Dry Eyes
  • Glaucoma (Papahewa)
  • Macula Degeneration
  • Retinopathy related to Diabetes
  • Keratoconnus

What happens in an Eye Exam?

An eye exam is a highly personalised experienced and should include most of the following:

  • detailed history-taking, which is required to determine what tests need to be performed for your eyes and to make sure that the solution determined in most specific to you. This involves asking questions about:
    • purpose of visit, occupation, hobbies and general lifestyle
    • general health and medication taken
    • past eye injuries or treatment
    • family history of eye diseases and blindness
  • testing your vision and ability to see detail
  • determining your prescription if required to improve clarity in your vision
  • examining the health of your eyes
  • communicating to you effectively about the conditions of your eyes even if you eyes are healthy
  • undertaking a management plan if there are any problems with your eyes. This can include requirement of glasses, prescription medication or even referral to a specialist
  • you may be booked for extra tests if not able to be completed at your initial appointment
  • a recall as to how often you will have your eyes tested is made and most cases this is one to two years but can vary depending on the condition of your eyes

How often to have an Eye Test

For most, you should have your fully eyes examined every two years. However, this can vary depending on your age, if you use contact lenses, or if there are any specific conditions with your eyes that require close monitoring, and this is determined by your eye care professional.

A full eye exam is not as simple as making sure you can read letters of a chart. It is a set of procedures conducted by an eye care professional to ensure your sight is at its optimum in terms of focus and it long-term health.

Even if your vision and eyes are normal and healthy, you should see your local Optometrist routinely. 

This is because certain sight-threatening conditions can have no symptoms, like glaucoma, and can only be detected early through detailed and regular eye exams.

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