You can see well up close and at a distance, and you don't have headaches. You don't have dry eyes either, so why should you get an eye exam? The answer is simple: to maintain your eye health. Just as you go to the dentist regularly, visits to the optometrist allow you to take care of your vision.

Eye exams with an optometrist keep your eyes healthy

Optometrists recommend that you have regular eye exams even if you don't have any particular problem. In fact, just like your teeth, you can suffer from certain eye diseases even if you don't feel the repercussions at the moment. A dentist helps you maintain good oral hygiene, while an optometrist takes care of your eye health.

With the help of sophisticated instruments and thorough exams, an optometrist will be able to detect the early signs of a possible disease. You will be informed more quickly if your eyes have a problem. Treatment can be put in place before the situation worsens. The role of an optometrist is not only to evaluate your vision. They make sure that you do not suffer from an eye disease.

Frequency of eye exams by age

It is recommended that children have their vision examined as early as six months of age if there are any concerns. Otherwise, the 1st eye exam is generally recommended at age 3 and then when they start school (4-5 years). An annual appointment is recommended between the ages of 6 and 18 to ensure that children have the appropriate vision for learning in the classroom, doing homework, etc.

For adults, a visit every two years is ideal for a complete examination. Of course, if you have any doubts or discomfort in your eyes, don't hesitate to have the right reflex and make an appointment quickly.

How an eye exam works

Once you arrive for your exam, you will undergo several tests that allow your optometrist to measure your visual acuity and check the health of your eyes. A complete examination takes an average of 30 to 45 minutes.

Here are some of the tests performed and the instruments used.

  • Ocular tonometer: The ocular tonometer measures intraocular pressure (IOP). This instrument is mainly used to detect the presence of glaucoma. This eye disease can cause blindness if left untreated. Optometric assistants may use some type of tonometer to perform this test before you see the optometrist. Sometimes the optometrist will take your eye pressure with another type of tonometer.
  • Snellen visual acuity chart: This chart is perhaps the most familiar component of an eye exam. It is usually projected on a screen or the wall of the examination room at a distance. It consists of several lines of random letters of decreasing size. This tool allows the optometrist to measure your visual acuity (the clarity of your vision). For example, if you can distinguish small letters at a good distance, then we can say that you have good visual acuity.
  • Phoropter: A phoropter is a tool shaped like large glasses that the optometrist will use to determine your prescription. It is also known as the tool used to measure refractive errors in the case of myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism. During this test, you will be asked to look through several lenses and indicate the clearest image according to different options. The optometrist will ask you several times to choose between two lenses to determine the right prescription to improve your vision. Usually, several steps are carried out to ensure the accuracy of the results.

If you can't remember when your last eye exam was, make an appointment with our eye care professionals today!