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Four Things To Know About Eye Exams

Our eyes are incredibly important. We cannot go through our daily lives with ease without good vision, and a lot of degenerative eye conditions can be treated.

It's understandable if you have some questions when having your first eye exam. Eye exams can be intimidating, and they aren't something that everyone grows up with the way that they grow up with regular check-ups with their primary care physicians or even teeth cleanings at the dentist's office. While there is a major need for eye care and corrective procedures and eyewear, visiting the optometrist is not something that everyone considers a necessary part of their lives.

Even though over 150 million Americans rely upon corrective eyewear to compensate for refractive errors, resulting in a collective $15 billion spent each year on eyewear, many children receive their first eye exams at the nurse's office in school. Even this is very rudimentary, and only ensures that parents are made aware of basic deficiencies in their children's vision.

Our eyes are incredibly important. We cannot go through our daily lives with ease without good vision, and a lot of degenerative eye conditions can be treated; but if they are not treated, there are serious consequences. With that being said, it's important that you get your regular eye exams.

And the more that you know about them, the less anxiety you'll have about them and the easier they will be to get. While every optometrist has different requirements and preferences, there are some simple rules that all exams follow. So, what should you expect from your basic eye exams?

1. Write Down Your Questions Ahead Of Time

Your first eye exam will begin with you listing all of your potential concerns, while also giving your medical history to your doctor. As such, it's a good idea to not only gather your medical records ahead of time, but also to write down any questions you might have about your eyes, as well as any symptoms you may be experiencing. No question is stupid, and no concern too small for your optometrist to address. Even if you're only suffering from dry eyes, you should mention it, and see if there is anything that can be done about it.

2. A Measurement Of Visual Acuity

Obviously, your optometrist's first priority will be to measure your visual acuity to see if you need eyeglasses or contact lenses. This will involve a simple procedure that you've probably had done before. Most measurements of visual acuity will have you read letters from a distance, as this will be the most accurate way for your optometrist to evaluate any weaknesses in your vision. This will not be painful, nor will it take much time. From this test, your doctor can assess whether or not you need glasses or contacts, and also assess the intensity that you require. They'll discuss with you how you can order your eyewear, as well as how you'll need to utilize it. This may also require a follow-up appointment, to ensure that the eyewear is working properly and helping you as it should.

3. A Measurement Of Eye Pressure

The next thing you'll be asked to do is to submit to the measurement of your eye pressure. Most optometrists conducting eye exams will first numb your eyes with a few medicated eye drops, rendering the procedure completely painless. You will then position your head into what is called a slit lamp, which will measure your eye pressure by pressing a small tip to the surface of your eye. The rate at which your cornea flattens will be used to measure your eye pressure, which your optometrist will use to inform other diagnoses or assessments.

4. An Eye Dilation And Check Up

Your doctor will then likely use drops to dilate your eyes, which is also painless. They will then check the health of your eyes while they are dilated. They often use lights to assess the front of the eye, as well as the inside of each eye. This process is not invasive.

It's understandable if you're anxious before your first exam. But again, it's not a major issue, and you'll feel much better once you not only are assured of the health of your eyes, but also are using the eyewear that you need. Don't hesitate to make an appointment.