Annual / routine eye exams
Regular eye examinations are important in maintaining eye health. During a comprehensive eye examination, eye diseases or other abnormalities that are not yet causing symptoms can be detected. Early intervention is crucial in preventing vision loss from a disease such as glaucoma, which may not cause symptoms until significant and irreversible damage has taken place. Early detection of eye problems gives a patient a choice of treatment options, and reduces the risk of permanent damage.
Benefits of a Comprehensive Eye Examination
A comprehensive eye exam should be performed once every year. Children should have regular tests to ensure that their vision is normal so that their schoolwork does not suffer. Older adults are at higher risk for eye conditions such as glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts. During a comprehensive eye examination, simple refractive errors are detected, and serious eye problems or diseases, including the following, are diagnosed:
- Amblyopia (lazy eye)
- Eye-tracking difficulty
- Diabetic retinopathy
Even in younger, healthy adults who are asymptomatic, a regular eye examination is essential. Serious medical conditions, such as high cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure, can be detected, allowing patients to seek treatment early.
The Comprehensive Eye Examination Procedure
A comprehensive eye examination differs from a vision screening. The latter only tests visual acuity, and is commonly performed by a school nurse, optician, pediatrician or other healthcare provider.
In order to evaluate the eyes thoroughly and detect any problems, the following tests are performed:
- Visual acuity
- Visual field
- Retinal examination under pupil dilation (recommended)
- Tonometry (tests intraocular pressure (IOP))
- Keratometry (measures the curvature of the cornea)
- Refraction (recommended)
Tonometry checks for the presence of glaucoma, and keratometry for astigmatism. All of the above tests are safe for all patients.
Based on the diagnostic findings of the examination, eyeglasses or contact lenses, medication for infection or inflammation, vision therapy, and vitamins or other supplements may be recommended. In some cases, eye surgery may be necessary.
Common Refractive Errors
The most common eye conditions diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam involve refractive errors that cause blurry vision. These conditions affect millions of people in the United States, and often get progressively worse as patients age. Refractive errors are easily treated. A Refraction is the test which determines the eye glasses prescription and refractive error.
Also known as nearsightedness or shortsightedness, myopia is a condition of the eyes in which nearby objects are clear, and distant objects are blurry. Almost a third of people in the United States have some degree of nearsightedness.
Also known as farsightedness, hyperopia is a condition of the eyes in which the focus on distant objects is better than the focus on objects closer to the eye, making nearby objects appear blurry. The eye is designed to focus images directly on the surface of the retina; with hyperopia, light rays focus behind the surface of the retina, producing a blurry image.
Presbyopia, meaning "old eye," is a condition in which the eyes lose their ability to focus on close objects. It is considered a normal part of the aging process. Symptoms typically begin when patients are between 40 and 45 years old.
Astigmatism occurs when curvature of the eye is irregular. There are two types of astigmatism: corneal, in which the shape of the cornea (the clear covering of the eye) is irregular, and lenticular, in which the lens is imperfectly shaped. Corneal astigmatism is more common. Astigmatism can result in blurred vision at any distance.
All of these vision conditions can be effectively treated with either eyeglasses or contact lenses. Corrective lenses may need to be used only during certain activities, such as reading, watching television or driving, or may be needed at all times.
Comprehensive eye examinations are essential in checking for vision problems, eye diseases, refractive errors and overall health. How frequently the eyes should be examined is based on the patient's age and specific circumstances.
During your initial visit to our office, you will have a consultation with one of our board-certified Ophthalmologists. It is recommended that you use this meeting to describe your symptoms, as well as any health concerns, to the doctor. If your appointment is for a regular checkup, the doctor will provide you with a comprehensive examination to confirm that no health issues are present. If necessary, the doctor will advise what follow-up testing or procedures may be required.
Emergency Eye Care
Emergency care may be required for trauma to the eye as a result of an accident, scratch, puncture or contamination, as well as for any sudden onset of troubling symptoms, including redness, pain, swelling and visual impairment. It is essential for anyone experiencing these symptoms, after a traumatic eye event, to seek immediate medical attention in order to reduce the risk of vision loss and other types of permanent damage.
The doctors in our practice are on-call at all hours to handle any eye care emergencies and to ensure that any injuries or other conditions are handled thoroughly and efficiently to minimize vision loss. Our doctors are experienced in providing comprehensive emergency care for a wide range of injuries and conditions, and will handle your individual issue with precise skill and compassionate care. In the case of a true emergency, we encourage patients to call 911.
Our doctors are available for you. If you have an urgent issue after hours regarding your surgery or other issues with your eyes that cannot wait for regular office hours please call our office (650) 948-9123 and our answering service will connect you with an Ophthalmologist to assist you.
If you have an emergency please call 911.
To learn more about our Ophthalmology Services,
please contact us or call us at 650-948-0403 today to schedule an appointment!