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General Eye Exams

Oregon Eye Specialists provides general eye examinations for all ages.

Regular eye exams are essential for your eye health and best vision. You need eye exams even if you believe your eyes are healthy, because some eye diseases don’t cause symptoms. These include serious conditions, such as glaucoma, that cause blindness.

If you have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, you have an increased risk of eye disease and vision loss. You need regular exams to prevent or diagnose problems before they become serious. Eye exams can also help doctors diagnose health problems such as headaches.

If you wear glasses or contacts, you need regular eye examinations. An eye exam can also tell you if you’re a good candidate for LASIK or another refractive eye surgery.

How Often Should I Have an Eye Exam?

It depends on your age. The doctors at Oregon Eye Specialists recommend:

Babies and children 3 and under: Eye check at routine pediatrician visits
Children ages 3 to 6: Eye exam every 1 to 2 years
Children 6 and up: As needed or every 5 to 10 years
In your 20s: At least 1 exam
In your 30s: At least 2 exams
Adults 40 to 54: Every 2 to 4 years
Adults 55 to 64: Every 1 to 3 years
Adults 65 and up: Every 1 to 2 years

When you see your eye doctor, ask how often you should have an exam. Regular eye examinations are the best way to protect your vision for a lifetime.

What Happens at An Eye Exam?

At an eye exam, your doctor checks your eye health and looks for signs of eye disease. This usually takes less than an hour and does not hurt.  

First, your doctor asks basic questions about your medical and eye health history and examines your eyes and the surrounding tissue. Next, you have tests to measure how acute (sharp) your vision is and check abilities such as peripheral (side) vision.

Tests done at a general eye exam include:

  • Pupil inspection: Your doctor checks the size and shape of your pupils and how they react to light and objects at various distances.
  • Eye muscle health and mobility: The doctor checks your ability to move your eyes and track a moving object, such as a pen.
  • Visual field: You cover one eye at a time. Looking straight ahead with the other eye, you identify objects in your peripheral vision, such as the number of fingers the doctor holds up.
  • Visual acuity: The doctor uses a chart with letters to test how well you see detail at a distance. You cover one eye and read the rows out loud, starting from the top line with the largest letters. The smallest row you can read correctly tells your doctor the visual acuity in that eye.
  • Refraction: You look through an eyepiece that holds interchangeable lenses and focus on a chart at a distance or up close. The doctor changes the lenses and asks you which one makes the chart clearer. This test helps determine your best vision in prescription glasses or contacts.
  • Color vision: You look at a series of images with symbols embedded in colored dots or patterns.  Your ability to see different symbols tests for certain types of color blindness.
  • Ophthalmoscopy: Your doctor looks inside your eyes with lights and magnifying lenses. This test checks the health of your retina, the tissue at the back of the eye. Your doctor can also look for cataracts and monitor conditions such as glaucoma and diabetes. The doctor might give you eye drops that dilate (open) your pupils to get a better view.
  • Tonometry: This test measures fluid pressure inside your eye. A puff of air or light touch with a sterile instrument measures how easily your cornea is pushed inward. Elevated eye pressure can indicate glaucoma or another condition. This test feels strange but doesn’t hurt.

If you have questions during your eye exam, ask your doctor. The Oregon Eye Specialists doctors are always happy to talk with you.

Contact Oregon Eye Specialists for an eye exam at one of our convenient locations.

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