Eye exams are an essential part of your health care plan that can help you to identify progressive conditions early enough to prevent vision loss. Everyone should have regular eye exams, but the frequency that you’ll need one can vary from one person to another. As a general rule, people with diabetes may require yearly dilated exams, while someone who is at high risk for developing glaucoma may need to see their ophthalmologist every two years.
If it’s been awhile since you had your eyes checked, then it’s normal to have a few questions. Knowing what to expect during your eye exam helps you arrive for your appointment prepared to learn more about protecting your vision.
What Are the Different Types of Eye Exams?
When you first arrive for your eye exam, the doctor will go over your health history to find out information such as whether you already wear glasses or have a known eye condition. Then, they’ll recommend doing several different types of tests based upon your needs.
Most people will have a visual acuity test, which you are likely already familiar with as being the letter chart that tests how well you see at certain distances. You might also have a test that checks your field of vision, and tests to check the ocular pressure are also common.
A retina doctor in Brooklyn may also suggest dilating your pupils to perform tests that allow them to see the inner parts of your eye, and they may even take images to use as a baseline for future exams. They may refer to this as a fundoscopic or ophthalmoscopic exam, which is used to identify changes in the blood vessels and fluid of your eye that can indicate health conditions such as diabetes or macular degeneration.
How Long Should an Eye Exam Take?
The average eye exam usually takes around an hour to complete, and the time yours will require depends upon the number and types of tests you need. You may also need to plan for some extra time to allow the effects of the dilation drops to wear off before you drive. Or, you might opt to have someone accompany you to the appointment to drive you home.
Do You Need to Come Back for a Follow-Up Exam?
People who have exams for eyeglasses or contacts may not need to return for a follow-up appointment as long as their new prescription works. However, it is possible for an eye doctor in Brooklyn, NY to identify signs of a more serious condition during a regular exam that requires you to come back for diagnostic services. In this case, your eye doctor will explain their findings and provide you with a recommended testing and treatment plan.
Considering how quick an eye exam goes, it’s worth finding time in your schedule to check your vision. If you’re not sure if you are due for an eye exam, then reach out to your ophthalmologist to find out if it’s time. You’ll also want to schedule an exam after any new health diagnosis that could impact your vision. Checking your eyes when you have diabetes or high blood pressure can help you determine if you have any complications that could benefit from continuing care.