Our routine eye exams are quite comprehensive. For a complete exam, three essential components need evaluating. They are VISION, BINOCULARILTY, and EYE HEALTH. Let’s describe each of these..
Did you know there are people who see “20/20” and yet require a Seeing Eye dog to move about the world? It’s true. Examples include retinitis pigmentosa and Usher’s Disease. In these conditions, the individual’s peripheral vision is gradually destroyed, but their central vision remains relatively in-tact. If your peripheral vision goes on you, the classic white cane will become a part of your life. The point we are making is that a VISION exam tests more than just the “20/20” part of your eyes. Question? – do you need 20/20 vision to have good color vision? What about your night vision? How is that different than your 20/20 vision?.
This is the assessment of how the two eyes work as a team. If one eye is out of focus, fine-tune depth perception is difficult if not impossible. Perhaps one eye has a tendency to turn out or in while you are reading, causing eye fatigue to occur quicker than it should. Your eyes are too busy keeping themselves straight at the book, expending energy that could have been used to concentrate on the material being read. Perhaps your baby, whose beautiful eyes both point right at you as she smiles, has a cataract from birth in one eye. If it is not removed in a timely manner, your daughter will grow up with amblyopia and a lack of fine-tune depth perception (called stereopsis). Why? – the eyes develop binocularity from birth to age 6. If one eye is not balanced with the other, permanent problems will ensue. Get your babies eye examined! It’s easy!.
Obviously, this is the most important component to any eye exam. Perhaps you can spot an elk in a stand of trees 300 yards away, but what about that melanoma growing inside the eye? If that goes undetected, you not only can lose your eye but also your life. Further, many diseases of the body (systemic disease) can be detected inside an eye. How? The inside or your eye contains small blood vessels and nerves. It is the only place in the body a doctor can directly examine blood vessels and nerves without having to cut you open to do so. A tiny piece of calcium stuck in a small artery likely came from a bad heart valve. Deposits in the retina can be associated with Sarcoidoisis. A swollen nerve in the eye can indicate a brain tumor. The list goes on and on and on. Do you think you can feel or see a problem that is going on in your eye right now? Most of the time you cannot. An eye doctor must do this job.
What did you learn? Hopefully you learned that an eye exam checks several systems and not just the “20/20” one. Hopefully you learned that even if you can see well, it doesn’t mean you are safe. Get your eyes checked yearly regardless of how well you see.