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What You Can Expect From A Comprehensive Eye Examination – Part 3

In our last article, we discussed number 6 through 10 on what to expect when getting a comprehensive eye exam. In this 3rd article in the series, we’ll cover the last 4 you can expect from your eye examination.

  1. Pupil Dilation

To derive the best views of the internal structures of the eye’s the doctor will place dilating drops into your eyes so that your pupils enlarge. These drops usually take around 10 minutes before they start working.

When the pupils dilate they become sensitive to lights as more light is able to enter the eyes and you may find it difficult to focus on objects that are up close. The effects from these drops may last for a number of hours, dependent on how strong the drops were.

As soon as the drops take effect, the eye examiner uses a number of instruments to examine the inside of each eye. It is advisable to bring sunglasses along to the exam in order to lower light sensitivity and glare when you go home. If you were not told about bringing sunglasses to your eye examination, you will usually be given a pair of disposable glasses.

Pupil dilation is essential for patients that present higher risk factors to different eye diseases, as it provides for a more thorough evaluation when it comes to the condition of inside the eyes.

  1. Visual Field Test

In certain instances, the eye doctor might want to examine for the possibility of blind spots known as scotomas in your side or peripheral vision with a visual field test. These blind spots may originate from an eye disease like glaucoma.

Analysis of these blind spots can also help to identify a specific area of brain damage that is caused from a tumor or a stroke.

  1. Other Eye Tests

Over and above the above-mentioned tests that are performed during standard comprehensive examinations for the eyes, you may need to go for eye tests that are more specialized. These tests are more commonly performed by a retinal specialist on the basis of a referral from a standard eye doctor.

  1. Contact Lens Fittings

The comprehensive eye examination will usually not include contact lens fittings. Which means you will not be provided with a prescription for contact lenses after the routine eye examination.

There is an exception when you are already wearing contacts and these lenses were originally fitted by your eye doctor that is performing your eye exam. Your doctor may then issue an updated prescription.

Contact lens examinations which include a fitting is usually conducted during an office visit. The contact lens exams can also be performed by an eye doctor that performed your eye exam, or you can choose to use a different ECP (eye care practitioner).

In general, it is advisable to have the contact lens and eye exam done at one practice. In some cases, if you decide to have the exams with different eye practitioners, the ECP that conducts the contact-lens fitting may repeat tests that you have already completed with your eye exam. This usually involves liability reasons that verifies accuracy of your prescription for eyeglasses and to ensure your eyes are able to handle wearing contacts.

Duplication of these efforts results in added costs, that you would not need to pay for if you use one location for your contact lens and comprehensive eye exam.

Keep in mind that you cannot buy contact lenses according to your eyeglass prescription, yet the prescription for your glasses will give the ECP a beginning point to determine what contact lenses you will need. If you would like to find out more on the differences between the prescriptions for contacts and glasses, please refer to our article titled “Are Contact Lens And Eyeglass Prescriptions The Same?”

If you want or need to go to another location for a contact-lens examination after you have completed your comprehensive eye examination, make sure you find out if added fees are required in order to repeat the tests you have already completed in your eye examination.

If you’d like to get a thorough eye exam done, please contact Fusion Eye Care at (919) 977-7480.

What You Can Expect From A Comprehensive Eye Examination – Part 2

In our last article, we discussed the 5 most common tests an eye doctor performs in a comprehensive eye exam. In this article we’ll cover the next 5 you can expect from a routine eye exam.

  1. Retinoscopy

This test may be performed earlier on in your exam to determine an accurate approximation of what eyeglass prescription you will need.

In a retinoscopy, the lights in the room are dimmed, and the eye doctor will indicate that you need to focus on a target which is typically the large “E” that is featured on an eye chart. While you are staring at the target, the doctor will shine a light at each of your eyes and then flip the lenses inside a machine that is positioned over your eyes. This is a test that determines the lens power that will be suitable to correct distance vision.

According to how the light is reflecting from your eyes, your eye doctor will be able to determine a “ballpark” of the prescription needed.

This is a test that is useful for children along with the patients that are not able to answer the questions the doctor is asking.

  1. Refraction

This test is used for determining exact eyeglass prescriptions. During this test, the doctor uses a phoropter which is a specialized instrument in the front of each eye, where you will be shown a sequence of choices in the lens. You will then be asked which lenses out of two choices appears to be clearer.

According to how you answer, the doctor will carry on fine-tuning the power of the lens until they reach your final prescription.

Refraction is used to determine your levels of farsightedness (hyperopia), nearsightedness (myopia), presbyopia and astigmatism.

  1. Aberrometers and Autorefractors

Some eye doctors also use either an aberrometer or autorefractor that automatically determines your exact eyeglass prescription. With these devices, the chin rest is used to stabilize your head. You will then look into an instrument at the pinpoint of a light or detailed image.

The autorefractor, similar to manual refraction will determine lens power that is required to focus light accurately on each retina. The autorefractors are particularly helpful to determine a prescription for eyeglass in younger children or for adults that have an issue in sitting still, providing feedback or paying attention.

Studies suggest that the more modern autorefractors are highly accurate. They are also a way to save time. Autorefraction only takes a couple of seconds and results that are obtained from these automated tests reduce time that is required for the eye doctors to perform the manual refractions.

Aberrometers use a wave-front technology that is advanced to locate even the obscure type of vision errors according to the way in which light will travel through each eye. Aberrometers are mainly used for wave-front or custom LASIK vision-correction procedures. However, there are a variety of eye doctors which have now incorporated this technology into routine eye examinations.

  1. Slit Lamp Exam

This is a biomicroscope or binocular microscope that eye doctors use for examining the structure of the eye under an extremely high magnification. This device looks like the upright and large microscopes that are used in science laboratories.

During the slit-lamp examination, your chin and forehead will be placed securely against rests situated at the front of this instrument. The doctor will then proceed to examine structures at the front of each eye that will include your eyelids, conjunctiva, cornea, lens, and iris.

With a hand-held lens, the doctor might use the slit-lamp for examining structures that are situated farther back such as the optic nerve and the retina.

Many eye diseases and eye conditions are detected with the use of a slit-lamp exam, this includes diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, macular degeneration, and corneal ulcers, etc.

  1. The Glaucoma Test

The test for glaucoma will usually start by measuring the pressure inside the eyes.

One of the common types of glaucoma tests includes the “puff-of-air” test, which is also called a non-contact tonometry (NCT).

For an NCT, your chin will be positioned on a rest. While staring into a light positioned inside a machine either a trained assistant or a doctor will puff a small burst of air into the open eye. The test is painless, and tonometer will not come into contact with your actual eye.

According to the resistance of the eye to the air, the machine will calculate the IOP (intraocular pressure) in your eye. If the pressure is high, you could either have glaucoma or be at risk.

Other glaucoma tests involve an applanation tonometer which is a specialized instrument. The more common version of these instruments will be mounted on a slit lamp.

In this test, the eye doctor places yellow eye-drops into the eyes to numb them. The eyes will initially feel heavy as the drops begin to work. These are not dilating drops, but rather a numbing-agent that is mixed with yellow dye which glows under blue light. The doctor will ask you to look straight ahead using a slit lamp while she or he touches the eyes surface gently with a tonometer that measures IOP.

Like the NCT, an applanation tonometry is also painless. The most you might feel is a tickle from the tonometer-probe as it touches your eyelashes. The entire test takes a couple of seconds to complete.

You will usually not experience any warning signs that you have glaucoma until already experiencing vision loss that is significant. This is why routine eye examinations which include the tonometry are vital in order to rule out the earlier signals of glaucoma as well as to protect your overall eyesight.

Learn what else is commonly addressed in a comprehensive eye exam in our next article.

What You Can Expect From A Comprehensive Eye Examination – Part 1

Ophthalmologists and optometrists use various procedures and tests to examine the eyes. The tests typically range from the more basic types, which includes reading eye charts, onto the more complex tests like the use of high-powered lenses that visualize the small structures inside the eyes.

Comprehensive eye examinations can take on average an hour or sometimes more, dependent on your doctor, along with complexity and number of tests needed to evaluate the health and vision of each eye.

Finding A Good Eye Doctor: If you need an eye exam, contact us today to schedule your appointment.

Below is a list of vision and eye tests that are usually included in comprehensive eye examinations:

  1. Visual Acuity Tests

The first test that is usually performed in an eye exam will include a visual acuity test which measures sharpness of vision.

This test is typically performed with the use of projected eye charts that measure distance visual-acuity along with a hand-held and small acuity chart that measures near vision.

  1. Color Blindness Test

Screening tests that check color vision are performed earlier on in the comprehensive exam in order to either rule out or pick up color blindness.

For the purpose of detecting a hereditary color-vision deficiency, these tests will also alert the eye doctor about any possible health problems with the eyes that can affect your color-vision.

  1. Cover Test

While there may be a number of different ways to check on how the eyes are working together, cover tests are still the most common and easiest.

In the cover test, you will be asked to look at an object that is small on the other side of the examining room by covering one eye at a time while staring at your target. This test will then be repeated when focusing on an object from close up.

During this test, the doctor assesses whether your uncovered eye is forced to move in order to locate the target. This may be an indication of strabismus or a binocular-vision issue that is more subtle that is causing eye strain or a condition known as amblyopia which is better known as “lazy eye.”

  1. Ocular Motility Or Eye Movement Tests

Ocular motility tests are performed in order to determine the ability of your eyes to follow moving objects or/and to move quickly between and then accurately focus on 2 separate targets.

The test for smooth-eye movements is a bit more common. This will involve the eye physician holding your head in a still position and then he or she will ask you to only use your eye to follow the slow movements using a hand-held light. When the fast eye movements (also known as “saccades”) are tested, the eye doctor may ask you to move the eyes in a back and forth motion between 2 targets that are positioned a set distance away from one another.

Issues with any eye movements can result in eye strain that can affect your sports vision, abilities to read, along with other skills.

  1. Stereopsis Or Depth Perception Tests

Stereopsis is a term that is used for describing eye teaming which enable normal appreciation and depth perception of 3-dimensional natures of an object.

In a common type of stereopsis test, the eye doctor will give you “3D” glasses to wear where you will then look through a book that features test patterns. Every pattern has 4 small circles. You will be asked to indicate which circle out of all the patterns appears to be the closest over the other 3 circles. If you are able to identify the right circle in each of the patterns, you probably have great eye-teaming skills that offers you a way to experience depth perception that is normal.

Learn what else is commonly addressed in a comprehensive eye exam in our next article.

What Can a Sports Vision Doctor Do For You?

Having 20/20 vision is important, but distance vision and focus is just one metric, and there are other skills and elements of the quality of your vision that matter too, including peripheral vision and depth perception. Vision skills are an important part of sporting performance – whether you are playing golf, baseball, soccer, racket sports or even certain martial arts. Most of what we do when it comes to processing our environment involves sight, rather than, say smell or touch.

Your regular eye exam will give you an idea of whether your eyes are healthy, but you will still benefit from visiting an eye-care practitioner that has experience in the field of sports vision because your standard eye exam will not test all vision skills, just the ability to focus on objects at a distance and perhaps color perception. Sports vision testing is far more extensive and will evaluate how you make use of your vision when moving and interacting with other objects. It can also deal with your concentration, quickness, and hand-eye coordination.

Professional athletes will work on their sports vision, and it is useful for college athletes and recreational players to work on it too. Vision training can be helpful for people in many fields – even pilots can benefit from it. A sports vision specialist will perform a lot of tests that you may not have done in a standard eye exam, including:

– Holographic protection to determine how you react when you see 3-D objects

– Computerized reaction time tests

– Tests that use slide viewers

– Depth perception and other sport-specific tests, including some done in sport-specific circumstances.

Sports vision specialists will help you to find appropriate eyewear for the sport that you play and may do special contact-lens fittings, as well as work with you to help you cope with eye injuries, if appropriate. It may be that one visit to a sports vision specialist will be enough to help you get your sports-related vision skills up to par, but in some circumstances, you may need to undergo a period of training and have several visits in order to bring your vision skills up to where they should be. If you have been practicing with an impairment – perhaps to your depth perception, for example – then you might find that you need to spend some time re-learning how to play once your vision has been corrected, but you should find that it gets even better with practice.

How Best To Use The Vision Insurance Provided By Your Employer

If you’re like most people in Raleigh, North Carolina, then you’re probably looking for ways to save your hard-earned money for the next eye-exam you go for, as well as when the right time is to buy new contact lenses or eyeglasses.

If you are employed full-time, it is possible that you have Vision Insurance benefits linked to your employment that you don’t know about or you may have forgotten. When you don’t make use of these benefits, it can result in costing a lot of money every year when it comes to eye-care expenses.

If you are not sure about your Vision Care benefits from your work, be sure to ask your HR department. You might be offered with a way to make better buying decisions when you use your Vision Care benefits on offer from a company like VSP.

What You Need To Know About VSP

VSP Vision Care is one of the biggest Vision Insurance companies in the U.S. According to their website, 1 in 5 Americans are covered with a VSP plan which provides eyewear benefits and vision care.

If you are fortunate enough to have a VSP plan or a similar Vision Benefit plan, like EyeMed, through your work, you can benefit from significant savings in association with buying eyewear and eye care.

Here are a few key steps to use to gain the most out of your VSP plan along with the advantages it offers.

Four Steps To Gain The Most Out Of Your VSP Vision Insurance

  1. Begin Early

When most people discover they actually have VSP Vision Insurance Coverage from their place of work, they often make a mistake in thinking, “I will get around to it when I can.” Avoid waiting! You need to use these benefits quickly during the coverage period, or you might miss out or forget about them closer to the end of the year.

  1. Know About Your Benefits

To achieve the most from your own VSP plan, you need to first understand what benefits your plan has to offer. If you have a VSP plan that you are enrolled in at your work, visit www.vsp.com and then login to access your personal-benefit information as well as obtain a VSP vision card.

If your work does not offer VSP coverage, you can contact VSP Vision Care on (800) 877-7195 or go to the VSP website to choose one of the Individual Plans for yourself and your family.

  1. Schedule An Examination

Keep a record of your VSP vision benefits. Review your list and find out what benefits apply to what you need.

Follow up by contacting an eye practitioner to make sure they are a VSP provider. If they do, book your examination for your yourself or your kids or your spouse. You might prefer to have all these examinations done at the same time, so you can all assist each other in choosing glasses at the end of the exam.

If your eye doctor does not accept VSP vision insurance, then contact VSP in order to find out about providers in your area that accept this insurance.

  1. Get An Eye Examination Even When You Think Your Eyesight Is Fine

It is just about impossible to really know how bad or good your vision really is, until having your own visual-acuity measured in an eye examination. You should not rely solely on vision screenings. For example, you might pass your vision screening with the Department of Motor Vehicles wit a 20/40 vision, but this score is not really that clear!

Make sure you make use of your VSP benefits when it is still fresh in your mind during the coverage period in order to prevent forgetting about them. Even when your vision is perfect, you should still have comprehensive eye exams every year to test for glaucoma which will not affect your vision until permanent damage has occurred, and it is then too late.

Even the most minor of the vision issues can result in headaches and eyestrain, particularly when you use digital devices like a computer, which also includes your phone. In addition, undetected vision issues are one of the leading causes for poor-performance levels in schools.

Why would you want to take that risk? Eye examinations are painless and quick, don’t delay and book your appointment today!

Online Eye Exam Risks

iMac Visual Acuity ChartsHere at Fusion Eye Care in Raleigh, NC we’ve researched online eye exams and have determined that the benefits just don’t outweigh the potential downsides.

This is worth repeating: If you decide to replace your eye doctor giving you a comprehensive eye exam with self-administered online eye exams, it very important to aware of the risks that you are being exposed to.

First of all, there aren’t any trained eye care professionals that are personally there to thoroughly examine your eyes’ health, as you would get at Fusion Eye Care. As discussed above, online eye exams are unable to determine whether or not you have diabetic eye disease, glaucoma, cataracts or other general health or eye problems that could be detected by your eye doctor when conducting a comprehensive eye exam. If these problems can be detected early, it can help to improve treatment outcomes, and possibly prevent legal blindness and vision loss.

Even if you have perfectly healthy eyes, with a self-administered online vision test, there is still a higher risk of receiving an incorrect prescription for contact lenses or eyeglasses. Even if an eye care provider reviews your online exam results before your order for eyewear is filled, when you are taking your vision test, there is still no eye care professional there to ensure that the testing is done properly.

If you take an online vision test incorrectly, it is possible you may not get the right prescription that you would need for driving, or you could experience problems like eyestrain or headaches with your new contacts or glasses.

What can you do if you believe that your prescription may not be right? Will you need to retake another online vision test? Will you have to pay for a second test, without any guarantee that the results from a new test will be better? This is just one of the many reasons why it’s better to come in and see Dr. Bassiri at Fusion Eye Care for an eye exam.

Cost Of An Online Eye Exam: Doesn’t Necessarily Save You Money

eye exam raleigh ncYou may think that having your vision tested with an online eye test or another method would save you money and time compared to how much a comprehensive eye exam conducted by an ophthalmologist or optometrist would cost.

However, keep in mind that you only receive a small part of the overall services that are provided during a comprehensive exam by your eye doctor.

Also, online vision test costs are usually not covered by vision insurance or health insurance. Therefore, an online eye test could cost more than a comprehensive eye exam if you have a vision benefits plan where you just have to make your co-pay.

Make sure you ask your employer what kind of eye care coverage you have if you are employed. Many people don’t realize that they have vision benefits and therefore don’t use them.

Understand What Services Are Provided

If you are going to use an online eye exam, online eye test, or other kinds of mobile eye care services, it is very important that you understand exactly what the service does provide as well as what it doesn’t. Remember that having your vision tested, your refractive error measured and getting a prescription for contact lenses and/or eyeglasses doesn’t ensure that your eyes are actually healthy.

It is critical to have a face-to-face, live comprehensive eye exam conducted by your eye doctor on a regular basis in order to safeguard your eyes’ health and enjoy good vision for a lifetime.

To schedule an eye exam with one of our highly trained optometrists at Fusion Eye Care, please call us at (919) 977-7480

How Not To Clean Your Glasses

Cleaning your glasses on a regular basis is essential for having clear vision. However, if you accidentally clean them the wrong way, you can do serious damage to them. Follow the advice below to ensure this doesn’t happen to your glasses.

Eyeglass Cleaners and Cleaning Cloths

Eye Glasses Raleigh NCMost drug and discount stores have cleaning supplies for eyeglasses, including spray cleaners. These are great if you don’t have easy access to dish soap and tap water. If you can’t rinse the lenses first, you can also use the spray to flush visible debris from the lens surfaces.

Do your lenses have anti-reflective (AR) coating? If so, you must choose cleaning products that are safe for these special lens coatings.

If you are using the disposable cleansing wipes, you should remove any dust first. Look for debris and blow it off before using the wipes to cleanse the lenses.

Microfiber cloths are great for removing grime from your glasses. They absorb oil and water, leaving the lenses clean and dry. However, they can quickly become soiled because of the trapped debris and grime. Hand wash them on a regular basis, using the same dish soap mentioned above. Rinse thoroughly and allow to air dry before the next use.

How Can I Remove Scratches From My Glasses?

Unfortunately, that is not really possible. If your lenses are scratched, you can’t un-scratch them. There are some products on the market that are designed to reduce the visibility of lens scratches. The mixed results associated with these waxy substances have left many folks frustrated. Created with various types of wax, the products wear off quickly, particularly in warmer climates and can even damage some special coatings.

Scratched lenses interfere with your ability to see clearly and fail to properly reflect light for the safety of your eyes. The weakened lenses are also less able to withstand impact, which means potential breakage is looming around the corner. For your health and good vision, invest in new lenses if you have noticeable scratches on one or both of your lenses.

When you are shopping around for new glasses, try to purchase lenses with a scratch-resistant coating. Some optical centers include scratches in the warranty. If you have experienced several issues with scratches in the past, get your glasses with an anti-scratch warranty, even if it means going elsewhere to have your prescription filled.

When Professional Cleaning Is Needed

While you can take care of the day to day cleaning and care needs for your glasses, there are times when you need a professional optometrist. If the lenses are fine, but you can’t get the nose pads cleaned or the hinges seem to have minuscule amounts of grime in them, you can use an ultrasonic cleaner to remove the grime. Also, you can replace the nose pads at home.

Protective Storage

Proper eyeglass care is essential to prolonging the life of the lenses and frames. Failure to store them correctly can result in scratches and worse. You should have a clean eyeglass case to put them in next to your bed. If you don’t have one available, open them slightly and place upside down on the table to prevent the glasses from flipping over. Always make sure the lenses are not touching the surface.

Your Glasses Aren’t A One Time Investment

eye exam raleigh ncNo matter what, your glasses are susceptible to some natural wear and tear related to normal use and environmental exposure. Find out about warranties when you purchase your glasses, particularly if you are purchasing glasses for a child or that will be worn in dusty conditions.

These tips will help you to protect and care for your glasses, extending the time you can use a single pair. If you think you might need a new pair of glasses, we welcome you here at Fusion Eye Care in Raleigh, NC. Simply call (919) 977-7480 and schedule your appointment with one of our optometrists today.

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