If you’ve had a vision screening recently, you might say, “My vision is fine! I don’t need a comprehensive eye exam.”
But a vision screening provides a limited perspective on the overall health of your eyes. It’s a bit like getting your blood pressure checked and not getting the rest of your annual physical. You’ll have useful information, but it’s not the whole picture.
Vision screenings are conducted by individuals untrained in eye health.
Vision screenings are offered in many places – schools, health fairs, as part of a work physical or for a driver’s license. Most individuals that conduct vision screenings don’t have the tools or knowledge to give you a complete assessment of your vision or eye health. Even if your physician conducts the screening, he/she is only testing your ability to see, but not your eye health.
Vision screenings use inadequate testing equipment.
In some cases, a vision screening is limited to an eye chart across the room. Even when conducted in a physician's office, they won’t have the extensive testing equipment that an eye doctor will have. They also won’t be able to control certain nuances such as room lighting and testing distances which are factors that can affect test results.
Comprehensive eye exams evaluate all aspects of your vision and EYE HEALTH.
The comprehensive eye exam looks at your eye externally and internally for any signs of eye disease, then tests your vision in a variety of ways.
External Exam – This is an evaluation of the eyelids, eyelashes, conjunctiva and sclera (the external layers of the eyes), the cornea, anterior chamber (front fluid chamber of the eye), iris, pupil and part of the lens.
Internal Exam – This is the evaluation of the retina, optic nerve, macula and posterior chamber (back fluid chamber of the eye). The Optos Retinal Scan and OCT or dilated fundus exam are the only way to view all of the crucial structures in the back of the eyes. ** Without examining the crucial internal structures of the eyes, the health status of your eyes cannot be determined. These tests are the only way to view the inside the eyes so that the health of your eye can be evaluated.**
Visual Function and Binocularity– This includes testing the peripheral vision, the response of the pupils to light, eye alignment, eye focusing, eye teaming, eye movement abilities and sometimes depth perception and color vision.
Intraocular Pressure Testing – This is a test of the fluid pressure within your eyes, one of the tests used to check for the possibility of glaucoma.
Refraction and Visual Acuity – Dr. Kubota will test your vision with different lenses to determine if glasses or contact lenses can improve your vision.
Comprehensive eye exams also look at your overall physical health using the test results and your total health history.
Dr. Kubota will discuss your overall ocular health and how it relates to your general physical health. Many systemic conditions can be detected in an eye health exam and many can affect the eyes. They include diabetes, hyperthyroidism, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, multiple sclerosis and many more. Many medications also have ocular health risks. This is why Dr. Kubota will ask what medications and supplements you are taking, your medical history (do you have high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.) and about the ocular and medical history of your genetically-related family members. Dr. Kubota will also want to know if you smoke, if you have had any head or eye trauma, if you have had any surgeries and how much sun exposure and daily near-work/device exposure that you get. All these factors help Dr. Kubota properly assess your eye health and how it relates to your overal medical health.