The Importance of Regular Eye Exams – A Guide to Total Eye Care

When you visit your eye doctor, be prepared for a comprehensive exam. It includes applying numbing drops to measure eye pressure and to dilate pupils to examine the back of your eye (called the retina).

Eye exams not only safeguard our vision but they also provide valuable insight into our overall health. It’s important to schedule an appointment regularly.

Eye Health

Regular vision screenings and annual eye exams are crucial to preventive care. In addition to providing a record of your eyes over time, these appointments can help catch problems like myopia (nearsightedness) before they get out of hand, leading to poor performance in school and work.

During a vision exam, your eye doctor shines a light into your eyes to observe your pupil and retina. They also check your 3D vision, peripheral vision, and color perception. They may also apply numbing drops to measure your eye pressure for glaucoma or use a drop to dilate your pupils to see the back of your eye.

Eye exams can also reveal underlying health conditions like diabetes, lupus, high blood pressure, and some cancers. They can spot early signs of cataracts, which cause blurry vision. Early detection of cataracts and timely eye surgery can restore clear vision.

Eye Exams

Only a comprehensive eye exam by an ophthalmologist or optometrist can accurately assess your eye health, despite a common belief that a vision screening is sufficient. In addition to ensuring you can see clearly at all distances, eye exams can help catch early signs of many health problems and provide insight into overall wellness.

An eye exam usually consists of tests measuring vision and detecting conditions like glaucoma or macular degeneration. The doctor may use a slit lamp to get a closer look at the structures of your eyes and will probably need to administer eye drops that will cause your pupils to dilate (get more significant). It allows them to see better the back of your retina, which provides valuable information about the condition of your blood vessels and nerves.


Eyeglasses are:

  • An essential part of total eye care.
  • Correcting vision problems that include nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism.
  • Presbyopia.

They also protect the eyes from UV light, which is linked to many health problems such as glaucoma, heart disease, some cancers, and neurological conditions.

Your provider will use different lenses during an eye exam to determine your prescription. They may also shine a light into your pupil and observe your peripheral vision. The test measures your visual acuity using the Snellen chart to ensure you can read letters.

Your doctor will check your eyes for signs of health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases. A sudden or gradual change in vision can indicate a severe problem, and early detection can help create a treatment plan. Your eye doctor can also recommend a lens type and tint that suits your needs.

Contact Lenses

The eyes are a window to the body and can indicate signs of certain health conditions. Regular eye exams can catch early signs of health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.

Even people with good vision benefit from annual eye evaluations. These exams can catch small vision changes that might not be noticeable otherwise, such as when the lens of a contact lens is inside out.

During a comprehensive exam, your doctor will ask questions about your general health and family history to check for possible eye diseases. You will be tested for near and farsightedness, as well as for 3D vision, peripheral (side) vision, and color perception. The exam may involve dilating drops and bright lights to give the eye doctor a better view of your eye. You will also be shown how to handle and care for your contact lenses properly. Before touching contact lenses, wash and dry your hands. Avoid using nails or objects that could have dirt and debris.