Eye examinations should be done annually for most patients, although patients who have eye diseases or who are at high risk for issues such as macular degeneration may need to be seen more frequently. Children need to have vision examinations as infants, and then at all their regular well-child visits in the future. Once children start school, it's recommended that they have annual eye examinations with one of the experienced eye doctors at Cataract & Vision Center of Hawaii.
Before an eye examination, the doctor asks the patient to complete a medical history, including a history of vision care. The typical eye examination includes several eye tests, including muscle movement, how the eyes work together, and the pupil's ability to dilate.
All of the parts of the eye are usually examined, depending on whether the patient has their eye dilated. When the eyes are dilated, the doctor can check the retina, cornea, iris, blood vessels, and the upper part of the optic nerve. The doctor asks the patient to perform simple vision tests that help them determine whether the patient needs a prescription for glasses or contact lenses.
A visual acuity test is typically the first thing that the doctors at Cataract & Vision Center of Hawaii do to determine a patient's prescription. The patient may be familiar with this type of test from childhood eye exams, as it involves reading letters aloud from a projected eye chart. With the information gained from the visual acuity test, the doctor uses a computerized refractor to find the exact prescription.
As the doctor moves between different prescriptions, they’ll ask the patient whether each option is “better, worse, or the same?”. This process may take some time, as the patient needs to carefully consider which lenses allows them to see the most clearly.
No. Dilation isn't always needed during eye exams. Dilation is the best way for the doctor to see the retina and surrounding structures clearly, but if the patient simply needs a new eyeglass or contact lens prescription, the dilation isn't usually needed.
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