Eye exams are usually performed in several stages. Following initial testing by our skilled technicians, Dr. Thom will examine you and determine if further testing is needed. After your examination, he will discuss any findings and recommendations for visual correction, medical or surgical treatment, and further testing if necessary.
What Do I Need Regular Eye Exams?
You see fine and as far as you know your child sees fine. You and your kids may even have passed a vision screening at work and school. So, why bother with an eye exam with Dr. Thom?
First off, vision screenings are not comprehensive eye exams; they are simply a fast eye chart test meant to tell the person if he or she has worse than 20/40 vision. They aren’t intended to find subtle vision problems, and they aren’t conducted by an ophthalmologist like Dr. Thom.
For children, roughly 80 percent of early learning is presented visually, and vision problems can create long-term learning problems. The American Optometric Association estimates that 20 percent of preschool children have vision problems. Other research shows that almost one-quarter of all adolescents with correctable refractive errors — such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and/or astigmatism — don’t have their vision fully corrected or their prescription is out-of-date and has changed.
For adults, serious vision issues such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy often don’t exhibit early symptoms before permanent vision damage has already been done. The risk of developing these types of conditions increases with age. Catching them early is key to successful treatment, but we can’t catch something like glaucoma early if you skip your regular eye exams.
How Often Should I Have an Eye Exam?
Infants should have their first comprehensive eye exam at 6 months of age. Children should have additional eye exams at age 3, and just before they enter the first grade at 5 or 6. From there, every two years is appropriate for children who don’t need vision correction. Children with vision correction should be examined yearly, as their prescriptions can change rapidly.
Adults should have their eyes examined every 2 years. When you turn 60, those exams should become yearly, as conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration can really affect vision in these years.
What Does An Eye Exam Entail?
A comprehensive eye exam with Dr. Thom involves a discussion to ask questions about your eyes and your vision, along with various diagnostic tests. Eye exams are far more than simply testing your refractive accuracy; eye exams also check the structure of your eyes. Dr. Thom tests for glaucoma, a condition where the pressure inside your eyes becomes elevated and damages your vision. The slit lamp exam detects a wide range of eye conditions and diseases, including cataracts, macular degeneration, corneal ulcers, and diabetic retinopathy. An ophthalmoscope is used to check the retina at the back of the eye and the surrounding structures. He tests your depth perception and eye-tracking ability. He even tests how your eyes work together.
Many eye conditions don’t show symptoms until damage has already been done to your vision. That’s why regular adult comprehensive eye exams are important.
Here is a list of the common tests and evaluations Dr. Thom performs in your eye exam:
Intial Interview:Dr. Thom will ask basic questions about your medical history and eye health. External Eye Evaluation:Dr. Thom inspects the eye and surrounding tissue for visible issues. Pupil Examination:Pupils will be inspected for equal size and regular shape. Then we test how your eyes and vision respond to objects at various distances and light. Eye Muscle Health and Mobility:We ensure your ocular muscles are working properly, the test includes following a pen or a finger with your eyes while your head stays still. Visual Acuity:This exam includes the famous Snellen chart. The patient reads the letters row by row to access your ability to see small details. Refraction:This test is used to find the best corrected vision, if necessary for prescription eyewear or contacts. Dr. Thom will try various lenses in front of each eye, to find the best lens to correct your vision. Ophthalmoscopy:This exam is done with an ophthalmoscope, a handheld instrument with light and magnifying lenses. Ophthalmoscopy aims to inspect the retina and surrounding internal eye. This test can help diagnose problems with the retina or detachment of the retina, and monitor diseases like glaucoma and diabetes. An opacity in the eye can indicate a cataract.
How Long Does The Exam Take?
Eye exams with Dr. Thom involve many different tests and are quite comprehensive in their diagnostic ability. Most exams take one hour.
What Do I Need to Bring my Exam?
For your exam with Dr. Thom, you’ll need to bring your healthcare cards and information, a list of any medications you’re taking, and your current eyewear. This includes sunglasses, daily wear, readers, possibly even occupational eyewear. Also, if you have been experiencing any changes in your vision, please be sure to mention these in our discussion.
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If you are interested in scheduling an eye exam in Fargo, ND, please give us a call at (701) 235-5200 today!