Why It’s Important to Get a Routine Comprehensive Eye Exam

If you wear glasses or contacts, you may only check in with your ophthalmologist every year or two, when you need a change in your prescription. If you don’t require vision correction, you might even forget about eye exams altogether.

But a comprehensive eye exam does more than make sure that your eyes see a full spectrum of colors, have healthy peripheral vision, and can visualize objects both far and near.

At Ethos Medical Group in Orange, California, our comprehensive eye exams evaluate the structure and function of your eyes to be sure they’re healthy.

During an eye exam, we also look for signs of illnesses that may first show up in your eyes, including heart disease and some kinds of cancer. Catching problems early ensures that you get the treatment you need.

Who needs an eye exam?

Did you know that 75% of blindness in adults worldwide is actually preventable? Adults over the age of 60 should have a comprehensive eye exam every year to test for degenerative eye diseases, including:

  • Glaucoma
  • Macular degeneration
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Cataracts

Adult women and men between the ages of 18 and 60 who don’t have vision problems should get their eyes checked at least every year or two. An eye exam now gives your doctor a baseline from which to measure changes as you age. If you have contacts or prescription lenses, you need to undergo an examination and update your prescription every year.

See our expert ophthalmologist, Dr. Grace T. Wu, more frequently if you have a job that threatens your eye health, or if you have underlying medical conditions. Medical conditions that can threaten your vision include:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Family history of eye disease
  • Previous eye injury
  • Previous eye surgery
  • Using medications that affect vision

Have your baby checked at six months, or earlier if they seem to have vision problems. Your child should also get an eye exam before starting school, every few years after school, or whenever they have trouble seeing or learning.

What happens in an eye exam?

When Dr. Wu conducts a comprehensive eye exam, she first asks you about your personal medical history as well as your family history. Many vision problems are genetic. She then performs a vision test on each eye separately, and makes adjustments to your prescriptions as necessary.

She may dilate your pupils with drops to examine the health of your optic nerve, blood vessels, and retina. Other tests she may administer include:

  • Tonometry to detect glaucoma
  • Visual field test to evaluate your peripheral (side) vision
  • Visual acuity test
  • Color test to determine if you have color vision deficiency

If Dr. Wu detects a problem, she designs a treatment plan based on your needs. She can conduct most therapies and even eye surgeries, including cataract surgery, in the comfort of the Ethos Medical Group offices.

You don’t have to wait

Even though a regular, comprehensive eye exam is essential to your visual health, you don’t have to wait if you experience symptoms between exams. Call us if you have troubling symptoms, such as:

  • Blurry vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Eye pain
  • Red or weepy eyes
  • Eye injury
  • Trouble focusing or seeing
  • Headaches after reading or concentrating

You can keep your eyes and vision healthier by maintaining a healthy weight, eating a whole-foods diet, and exercising regularly. You should also wear UVA- and UVB-protected sunglasses when outdoors, and take device breaks every 20 minutes by looking up from your phone or pad, and focusing on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

To set up a comprehensive eye exam for you or your family, call us today, or use the online form.

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