Comprehensive Eye Exams Are Essential to Good Eye Health

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EyeQue Team

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June 25, 2021

Happy young woman wearing eyeglasses in front of Snellen chart

With over two million working parts, the human eye is a more complex organ than most people realize. Because vision accounts for 09-the-world-of-the-senses, it is imperative that you are proactive in maintaining your eye health. EyeQue vision solutions provide you with the devices and information you need to address certain vision issues, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. EyeQue solutions do not test for eye diseases, such as glaucoma, retinopathy, or macular degeneration. You should visit your eye doctor every two years, or more often if recommended, to take charge of and stay on top of your eye health.

EyeQue Offers Breakthrough At-home Vision Solutions …

EyeQue believes that clear vision is a right, not a privilege, and develops technologies that let you actively participate in your eye health with safe, affordable, and convenient vision solutions. Many people purchase EyeQue vision solutions on their own to track their vision and order glasses or contact lenses. These solutions may also be offered under a doctor’s care and supervision, allowing patients to self-administer vision tests from home as part of a myopia management program or post-surgery, for example.

EyeQue vision solutions enable you to complete at-home tests, including visual acuity, refractive error, contrast sensitivity, and color deficiency tests (aka, color blindness). With these tests, you can determine potential changes in your vision with your glasses or contact lenses.

Conducting at-home tests to update your glasses is easy:
1. Purchase one of the EyeQue refraction devices,
2. Download the app for that device,
3. Follow the app instructions to test your eyes and receive EyeGlass Numbers®,
4. Measure your pupillary distance, and
5. Order Try-On Glasses to experience your EGNs first if you like; then order glasses online.

With the EyeQue Insight vision screener, you can then test the performance of your glasses or contacts regularly to screen for changes and make sure you are seeing well.

Tens of thousands of people have completed more than 150,000 vision tests using EyeQue devices in the last three years alone.

EyeQue also makes it easy to schedule a telemedicine appointment with an eye doctor through our partnership with EyecareLive. This can be important if you have a concern about your eye health such as dry eyes, red eyes, itchy eyes, styes, or more.

… But Annual, Comprehensive Eye Exams are a Must for Healthy Vision

While EyeQue at-home vision solutions are highly effective for addressing specific vision needs such as updating your glasses, annual eye health exams provided by an eye doctor are essential to managing eye health. Comprehensive eye health exams help ensure the detection of over 200 vision issues when they are at their earliest stages and most treatable. Many eye conditions such as glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy have no symptoms and you wouldn’t know there was anything wrong until it’s too late. Below are the tests typically conducted by eye doctors during a comprehensive eye exam.

Visual Acuity Test

Visual acuity is a core test, typically performed at the beginning of the exam, which measures how clearly you see. A standardized Snellen chart is placed or projected on the wall and you are asked to read progressively smaller letters until you can no longer clearly distinguish the letters. This test is performed with one eye at a time and also with both eyes together.

If you have 20/20 vision (or 6/6 in Europe), you can see clearly at 20 feet what should normally be seen at that distance. If your vision is not 20/20 or better, this either indicates you need new glasses or contact lenses, or there could be another condition. The next test helps to differentiate the cause of the vision change.

Refractive Error Test 

While a visual acuity test tells you whether your vision has changed, a refractive error test quantifies exactly how much your vision has changed and what lenses are needed to correct your vision, assuming the change in vision was not caused by eye disease. There are two common ways to measure refractive error. Using an autorefractor is an objective way of measuring refractive error, whereas using a phoropter is a subjective way.  A phoropter is a refraction device containing lenses of different strengths which are moved into your view. The eye doctor asks which lens options look clearer to you until the best correction is found for each eye. This test is also used for determining the strength of reading glasses needed for people who have difficulty with near vision.

Refractive error tests can identify a number of outcomes:

  • Farsightedness (hyperopia) is a refractive error where a person can see objects clearly from a distance, but strains to see nearby objects.
  • Nearsightedness (myopia) is a refractive error where a person can see objects clearly when they are near, but distant vision is blurred.
  • Astigmatism is a common and generally treatable imperfection in the curvature of your eye that can cause blurry vision at distance and near..  

Slit lamp Exam

During a slit lamp exam, a combination of bright light and different magnifying lenses provide a 3-D view of the entire physical structure of the eye. Your doctor uses this instrument to examine the eyelids, eyelashes, cornea, iris, lens, and fluid chamber between your cornea and iris to diagnose any eye diseases. They can also view the optic nerve, macula, and parts of the retina through your pupil. 

Slit lamp tests are effective at spotting possible and early signs of:

  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Diabetic eye disease
  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Blood disorders
  • Certain cancers

Tonometry

Tonometry is the measurement of fluid pressure inside the eye. Based on eye pressure levels, doctors can detect glaucoma and damage to the optic nerve with these tests.

Noncontact tonometry, the most common method used during a comprehensive eye exam, is known as the puff or air puff test. A quick puff of air on the surface of the eye provides a rough measurement of intraocular pressure (IOP). This method can be less accurate than applanation tonometry. 

Applanation tonometry measures the amount of force needed to temporarily flatten a part of your cornea. During this test, doctors administer eye drops with a dye and an anesthetic. Using a slit lamp, the doctor moves the tonometer to touch the cornea and determine the eye pressure. 

If either test reveals an IOP higher than the normal range, additional testing would be required.

Visual Field Test

An eye doctor often uses a visual field test to check central and peripheral (side) vision. Eye doctors use various methods to check peripheral vision, ranging from automated tests on a screen to simply counting how many fingers your doctor is holding up in your peripheral vision.

Using responses to one or more of these visual field tests, doctors can analyze your fullness of vision and note patterns of visual field loss that can help diagnose eye conditions. 

Other Handheld Tests

During an ocular motility test, your doctor moves a handheld light or other target around in front of you and asks you to keep your head steady while following the target with your eyes only. This determines whether your eye muscles are able to move your eyes equally and fully in all directions without causing double vision. 

During binocular vision testing, the doctor covers and uncovers your eyes to determine how well they work together and to reveal issues such as strabismus, a condition in which both eyes do not look at the same place at the same time. Your doctor may also test your speed and ability to focus on near objects and assess any symptoms of double vision.

During pupil testing, the doctor shines a light in each of your eyes to evaluate the size and shape of the pupils, and determine how well the pupils respond to stimulus from light. This can uncover neurological problems and other eye diseases.

Retinal Examination

This examination allows your doctor to evaluate tissues at the back of the eye, including the retina, macula, and optic nerve. While some more modern retinal examination technology does not require the eye to be dilated, dilation provides doctors with a clearer and more accessible view of these tissues.

During dilation, drops are placed in each eye to widen the pupil temporarily for several hours. The pupil is the opening in the center of the iris (colored part of the eye). The doctor will then shine a light through the pupil and look through a lens in order to evaluate the back of the eye.

Annual comprehensive dilated eye exams are recommended starting at age 60. Some groups of people who are more susceptible to glaucoma are advised to have annual dilated eye exams beginning at age 40 or earlier.

Your doctor may also use some technologies such as optical coherence tomography (OCT) to view the layers of the back of your eye if you are at risk for eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, glaucoma, or if you take certain medications that could affect the retina, such as Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine).

Color Blindness Test

The most widely used color blindness test, the Ishihara Color Vision Test, consists of 38 different circular patterns (or “plates”) composed of many dots of various colors, brightness, and sizes. A person with normal color vision will see a single-digit or two-digit number among the seemingly random array of dots. A color deficient or colorblind person will either be unable to see the number or will see a different number than intended. Most people with color vision defects are said to have a color vision deficiency. Although the terms color vision deficiency and colorblind are often used interchangeably, very few people are actually “colorblind” (cannot distinguish colors).

According to Mayo Clinic, “For most people, color blindness that’s present at birth (congenital) is red-green, meaning you can’t distinguish those colors. Most people who develop color blindness as a result of disease, such as glaucoma or optic nerve disease, can’t distinguish blue-yellow.”

Many eye diseases and drugs can cause subtle color vision deficiencies before they affect everyday vision such as visual acuity. This is another reason why it is important to test your vision frequently.

The Bottom Line

To put the need for people to take care of their vision, the International Myopia Institute estimates that five billion people will suffer from myopia by 2050. Approximately two billion people have presbyopia today. And, nearly 300 million will battle macular degeneration by 2040.  Maintaining comprehensive eye health is critical for addressing the growth of these diseases and these are just three of the many eye issues from which people worldwide suffer.

Using EyeQue’s personal vision solutions, you can determine if you need corrective eyewear and check the accuracy of current glasses or contacts. 

But using EyeQue vision solutions is just a start. You also need comprehensive eye health exams from annual visits to eye doctors, more often if recommended. You can still use EyeQue vision solutions between eye exams to monitor your vision and work with your doctor on an appropriate follow-up schedule. Your doctor may also encourage frequent at-home vision screenings to monitor your vision changes remotely between office visits as part of your collaborative personal eye health plan.

Taking charge of your eye health today can lead to fewer problems in the future. If you haven’t visited your eye doctor in more than a year, make an appointment today!

Test Your Eyes and Track Your Vision

With the Vision Monitoring Kit, you can measure visual acuity, refractive error, and pupillary distance. Use your results to order glasses online. It’s really that simple.

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