It has often been said that vision is our most valuable sense. With that in mind, it is nearly impossible to imagine the thought of permanently losing it, especially if that loss could have been prevented. Our goal, at Harper’s Point Eye Associates, is to prevent loss of vision. We keep that goal in mind when we invest in new technologies, at all points in our practice process and, ultimately, when we care for our valuable patients.
We strongly believe that preventative examinations are essential to continued eye health and efficient visual performance. Timely detection and diagnosis of eye disorders is often vital to successful prevention and remediation.
Children should have their first complete eye exam before entering kindergarten and, preferably, by age four. Pediatric eye examinations will reveal whether there is a tendency toward nearsightedness, farsightedness, crossed eyes, astigmatism, or lazy eyes. Perhaps more importantly, it will determine whether the many visual skills that your child will need are developing as they should.
Proper focusing and eye muscle coordination assures your youngster the visual efficiency and comfort he or she needs for optimal academic and athletic performance. Periodic reevaluation will be recommended usually every one or two years), depending upon your child’s individual case. Adults between the ages of 18 and 40 should have their eyes examined at least every two years. Certain ocular and systemic conditions such as high myopia, glaucoma, diabetes, and high blood pressure, necessitate more frequent exams to monitor retinal health. Our patients who are being treated for glaucoma may be seen as often as four times per year.
The incidence of eye disease such as glaucoma, cataract and macular degeneration significantly increases after age forty. Because certain sight threatening disorders are “silent” (without symptoms) in their early stages, it is advisable to undergo annual examinations beginning at this time.
Typically, an eye examination will take approximately one hour. Most comprehensive eye exams include pupil dilation, which will cause some light sensitivity for a few hours. Most people, with sunglasses, can easily drive after dilation. Some may prefer to have help with driving. We ask that you allow for some flexibility in your schedule on the day of your exam in the event that slightly more time is needed to complete the testing and address all of your questions. We also ask that you bring your most recent eyeglasses and/or contact lenses and a list of any ocular or oral medications you may be taking. It is important to bring your current vision AND health insurance information with you.
Because many ocular and visual changes are hereditary or influenced by other health problems, the first step in the examination procedure is a thorough personal medical and ocular history. Testing will then be performed to determine the eyes’ refractive status in order to derive the appropriate distance and/or reading correction. Focusing, eye coordination, and visual fields will then be assessed. Some patients may elect to have digital retinal imaging for baseline reference.
Finally, the ophthalmic technician will use eye drops to dilate the pupils so that the doctor can thoroughly examine the internal contents of your eyes. Our doctors use devices that permit three dimensional observation of the entire retina, including the optic nerve and macula. An external ocular examination is performed using a binocular microscope. Glaucoma testing (intraocular pressure measurement) is also performed at this time.
Again, at the conclusion of this examination your vision will be somewhat light sensitive because of the dilation drops and you will be given special sunglasses to resume your normal activities in a couple of hours.