When was the last time your eyes were checked? Having your eyes checked annually by a qualified eye care professional can help spot changes in an early stadium.
What happens during an eye exam?
There are several ways to examine your eyes. An initial exam is often done using an autorefractor. That’s a smart device that lets you look at an image that can be seen first in focus and then out of focus. This quick exam gives a good indication of the strength of your eyes and whether you need a correction.
Then your vision (your visual acuity) is determined for each eye separately and for both eyes together. You’ve probably seen this card before but may not know the name. Your eye care specialist will make this assessment using the Snellen letter card at a distance of 6 meters. If you have trouble reading a book or text on a monitor, you will also undergo a special exam for your near vision. During this exam a reading card is held out in front of you. In some cases, cylinder strength must also be determined. Then you may look at an image with round shapes and answer questions from your eye care specialist at the same time. The result of the cylindrical strength is combined with the results of your other exams.
Your vision is indicated by a number (1.0 stands for 100% vision). Is your vision less than 1.0? Then you will be given special glasses with inset lenses of different strengths to see if this improves your vision. This is called refraction.
In addition to the exam itself, your eye care specialist will also ask you all kinds of questions regarding your history (anamnesis). Are you satisfied with your vision? Are you on medication? Have you had any eye surgeries? Are there any hereditary eye conditions known within the family? And so forth. This is factored into the overall picture to give you your maximum view.
Why is it important to check your eyes regularly?
A visit to the eye care specialist is not just about your vision and how much you can see. It’s also about determining the overall health of your eyes and detecting any eye problems in time. This is not only necessary as you get older. This is also advisable for children. Example: The greatest exacerbation of myopia often occurs in the 6 to 17 year age group. This is the most important age group to intervene in order to prevent or minimize eye health problems later in life. You should therefore visit an eye care specialist at least once a year to have your eyes checked starting at a young age.
1 Morgan P. Is Myopia Control the Next Contact Lens Revolution? The Optician 2016.