Most people visit the eye doctor to get a prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses. But even if you don’t need vision correction, it’s still important to visit your eye doctor every one to two years to check the health of your eyes.
How your eye doctor can help
Your eye doctor can also help detect changes to your eyes that impact your overall health. Conditions that affect the entire body, like high blood pressure and diabetes, can cause changes in the back of your eyes as well.
And sometimes signs of disease can be detected first in the eyes. For example, multiple sclerosis may affect your eyes first before affecting the rest of your body.
Some common medications such as birth control, anti-depressants and blood thinners can also affect the eyes. During an eye exam, your eye doctor may be able to notice changes, detect signs of illness and help your overall health.
What to expect at your eye exam
During an eye exam, your doctor will check how well you can see at distance and near. They may perform a refraction test, which helps determine your eyeglasses prescription. The doctor will check to see how well your eyes react to light and will examine your eye muscles.
Additionally, they will check your peripheral vision and your eye pressures. They may use a large microscope, known as a slit lamp, to look at the front of your eyes and use a special lens to examine the back of your eyes. Your doctor may even take a baseline photograph of the back of your eyes to detect subtle changes over time.
If you haven’t had an eye exam in a while, make sure to call your eye doctor and schedule an appointment. Students can schedule comprehensive eye exams at our on-campus vision clinic.