At Albermarle Eye Center / Precision Eye Care, you can always expect a thorough and professional eye examination. Located in Washington NC, Elizabeth City, Kitty Hawk, Nags Head, and Edenton, our Optometrists and Ophthalmologists use a wide variety of tests and procedures to examine your eyes and determine exactly what procedure or prescription is right for you. These tests range from simple ones, like having you read an eye chart, to complex tests, such as using a high-magnification lens to visualize the tiny structures inside of your eyes.
A comprehensive eye exam can take just about an hour or more depending on the health of your eyes or other conditions such as Diabetes, Hypertension, Macular Degeneration, etc. In these cases, it may take longer, but this is only to ensure that we have the most accurate information for treating your condition.
It’s estimated that 86% of people who wear corrective lenses or have some other condition do not return for an annual check-up. Not only can this result in individuals wearing out dated prescription lenses, it can also mean significant and sometimes permanent damage to your vision.
Many optometrists recommend that people under the age of 40 have their vision checked every two years unless their doctor suggests otherwise. Individuals over 40 should schedule at least an annual eye exam, regardless of whether or not they use corrective lenses. Many conditions are often silent thieves of your sight; they may damage your vision slowly over the course of a year before you ever notice any deterioration in the clarity of your vision. That’s why it’s so important to schedule annual eye exams. You don’t want to miss a minute of what life has to offer, and the experts at Albemarle Eye Center / Precision Eye Care in Washington NC, Elizabeth City, Nags Head, Kitty Hawk and Edenton can help you experience life-changing clarity.
Read more about the tests you can expect during one of our comprehensive eye exams, and contact us to schedule your appointment today.
Visual Acuity Tests
The first tests performed in a comprehensive eye exam are visual acuity tests that measure the sharpness of your vision. These tests usually are performed using a projected eye chart to measure your distance visual acuity and a small, hand-held acuity chart to measure your near vision.
During a refraction, your doctor or certified trained technician puts the instrument called a phoropter in front of your eyes. You might remember that the devise resembles a high-tech, bulky set of eye glasses. We then show you a series of lens choices and you let us know whether what you are seeing is clear or blurry. The technician continues to fine-tune the lens power until reaching a final eyeglass prescription. It’s important to take your time, and really make sure that your vision is better or worse than before because this test is used to determine your exact eyeglass prescription.
The slit lamp is an instrument that your eye doctor will use to examine the health of your eyes. He or she will examine the structures including those on the surface and inside of your eyes (lids, cornea, conjunctiva, iris, etc.). A wide range of eye conditions and diseases can be detected with slit-lamp examination, including cataracts, macular degeneration, corneal ulcers, diabetic retinopathy, etc. Shining a bright light into the center of your eye might seem intimidating, but the light is perfectly harmless, and should cause you absolutely no discomfort.
Your eye doctor or technician will put drops in your eyes to numb them. Your eyes will feel slightly heavy when the drops start working. This is not a dilating drop — it is a numbing agent combined with a dye that glows under a blue light. The doctor or technician will have you stare straight ahead into the slit lamp while he or she gently touches the surface of your eye with the tonometer to measure your intraocular eye pressure. Because you have no nerve endings in your eye, this procedure is completely painless.
It’s important to have this test completed regularly as most people typically exhibit no warning signs of glaucoma until they are already experiencing significant vision loss. For this reason, routine eye exams are essential to rule out early signs of glaucoma and protect your eyesight for years to come.
To obtain a better view of the eye’s internal structures, your eye doctor or technician instills dilating drops to enlarge your pupils. Dilating drops usually take about 20 to 30 minutes to start working. When your pupils are dilated, you will be sensitive to light (because more light is getting into your eye) and you may notice difficulty focusing on objects up close. These effects can last for up to several hours, so you might want to consider having a friend or family member take you to and from your appointment.
Once the drops have taken effect, your eye doctor will use various instruments to look inside your eyes. You should bring sunglasses with you to your eye exam, to minimize glare and light sensitivity on the way home. If you forget to bring sunglasses, the staff usually will give you a disposable pair.
Pupil dilation is very important for people with risk factors for eye disease, because it allows for the most thorough evaluation of the health of the inside of your eyes.