How do you know your child or family is receiving the eye care they deserve? With the advanced technology available to eye doctors today, we are able to diagnose and treat many conditions before they are problematic. Patients tell us every day how impressed they are with our high tech eye exam. Below are the essential components of a Total Eye Care complete eye exam.
The Chief Complaint
A proper eye exam starts with the chief complaint; essentially, what caused you to schedule your appointment? Sometimes patients are having a specific problem, such as blurriness at the computer, difficulty with night driving, or headaches. At other times patients present to their eye doctor for preventative eye care.
The Medical History
You may wonder why the eye doctor needs to know about the medications you are taking or why is it important for the eye doctor to know your daughter's grandmother had diabetes. After all, you are here for an eye exam, right? Many systemic diseases are first detected with an eye exam.
The eye is a window into the body.
We have found that it is easier to accurately remember your health history while filling out the forms in the convenience of your own home rather than trying to hurry and fill out more forms right before your eye exam. We find that patients prefer to enter their data at home rather than at the office, and the data collected is much more complete.
Your eye doctor needs to know how well your current mode of correction is working for you. It is important to bring all forms of vision correction, glasses, and contacts with you to your exam.
Here a technician will collect data for the doctor. Among the tests conducted are lensometry (determines the prescription of your old glasses), autorefraction (gives the doctor a starting point in determining your eyeglass prescription), keratometry (measures the curves on the cornea), tonometry (measures the pressure in the eye), visual fields (used to help diagnose tumors and glaucoma), and retinal pictures (the *opto*map® Retinal Exam, for instance, gives a panoramic view of the back of the eye to aid in the diagnosis of diabetes, glaucoma, macular degeneration, retinal tumors, holes, tears, and detachments).
The doctor determines your refractive error, the spectacle prescription that makes you see your very best. In calculating your prescription, your doctor will determine if you have astigmatism, nearsightedness, farsightedness, or presbyopia.
Eye Health Evaluation
Potentially the most important part of an eye exam is evaluating the health of the eye. Here we can observe and detect conditions before they become problems. The eye is the only place in the body where arteries and veins can be directly viewed without surgery, thus many systemic conditions are first diagnosed in an eye exam.
The eyelids and the external parts of the eye itself, such as the conjunctiva, cornea, iris, sclera, and intra-ocular lens, can all be viewed with the slit lamp biomicroscope. The slit lamp, as we call it, is an instrument attached to a table that sits on a swinging arm. The doctor swings it into position and instructs you to put your chin in the chin rest. With special lenses, the slit lamp can also be used to examine the retinal fundus as well.
The retinal health can be evaluated in a number of ways. The most common method is via the direct ophthalmoscope. The doctor holds the ophthalmoscope in his hand, against his eye, then moves close to the patient’s eye. The second most common approach is to evaluate the retinal health with a binocular indirect ophthalmoscope through dilated pupils. Often both techniques are used to evaluate a patient’s retinal health.
Most patients, if not all, hate to be dilated. The *opto*map® Retinal Exam technology utilizes a panoramic camera to give doctors another option to view up to 81% the retina. While not a replacement for viewing the retina via ophthalmoscopy, the *opto*map® uses scanning lasers for only a quarter of a second to attain its images without requiring the eyes to be dilated.
Having retinal photographs in your medical record can also be of invaluable assistance in your continuing eye care since it gives your doctor a point of reference when he or she needs to compare potential changes in your retinal health.
Consulting With The Doctor
Then our eye doctors will bring all of the information together and consult with you on all of the findings, thoroughly answering all of your questions. Some of the vision treatment options available to us are, of course, glasses; however, other options to consider are contact lenses, orthokeratology and refractive surgery. Total Eye Care's doctors are well versed in all of these options and will discuss