Things to expect when meeting your eye doctor

An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who specialises in eye and vision care.

During an eye examination, he/she will examine the eyes including:

  • The surrounding parts of the eye such as eyelid
  • The external parts of the eye such as conjunctiva, sclera and cornea
  • The internal parts of the eye such as the iris, lens, retina and optic nerve

As part of the visit, your vision and visual function will also be checked by an optometrist.

The examination of the eyes and assessment of visual function are done to pick up or rule out any possible eye diseases such as cataract and glaucoma, as well as systemic diseases such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes which have manifested in the eyes.

How frequently should I get my eyes tested?

To maintain a lifetime of healthy  vision, the recommendations are as follows:

  • Those who are aged 18 to 60 to have a comprehensive eye examination at least once every 2 years.
  • Those aged 61 and above should have annual eye examination.
  • ‘At risk’ individuals with a family history of eye diseases (glaucoma, macular degeneration, etc.) should have more frequent examinations as per your eye doctor’s advice.

A yearly eye examination with your eye doctor is recommended, akin to how one would visit the dentist yearly or even more frequently to maintain one’s oral health. It is advisable not to wait till one experiences symptoms of blurry vision, pain or loss of vision before going for an eye examination.

Why should I get my eyes tested? 

Our vision plays a vital role in our everyday lives. A loss of vision would cause dramatic changes to our lives and affects our quality of life. It may even put us in danger. For example, being unable to see oncoming traffic or falls from tripping over steps. This is even more crucial for the older population as a fall could be life-threatening or result in permanent disability.

As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. There are many eye diseases that have very subtle signs at the early stages and one may not experience any symptoms till they have progressed to a point where the effects could be devastating. Thankfully, most of these eye conditions, when picked up early, can reduce or even prevent loss of vision when treatment or intervention is administered appropriately by the eye doctor. Some of the common eye conditions that have subtle early signs include glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, retinal tear and detachment.

As such, an annual eye examination is vital, even when one has no complaints with their vision.

What to expect at an eye examination?

Most eye examination consist of the following checks:

History taking – To better understand your lifestyle, medical history if any, and visual difficulties

Vision – How well you can see with and without glasses

Refraction – A measurement of your eye prescription to see if a change of glasses is needed

Eye pressure – Eye pressure measurement is important to rule out the possibility of glaucoma

Anterior eye examination – A check of the front part of the eye (eg eyelids, cornea and lens) under a microscope to look out for any eye conditions. Some anterior eye conditions include dry eye, corneal infection and cataract.

Posterior eye examination – Dilating eyedrops are used to dilate the pupils for the eye doctor to check the back of the eye. We mainly want to check the retina and optic nerve which help capture light entering the eye and thereafter sends this information to the brain for interpretation. A posterior eye examination helps rule out sight-threatening conditions such as retinal detachment, glaucoma and AMD.

Consultation – Finally, when all measurements are taken, a consultation with the doctor would take place to discuss the outcome of the eye examination. The anterior and posterior eye examination are also usually done again by the doctor during the consultation.

Additional tests – There may be additional tests required depending on the presenting symptoms and patient’s medical history. For example, a glaucoma eye examination includes visual field testing, and a children’s eye examination may include binocular testing and colour vision testing.

If you would like to come in for an eye examination, please contact us at +54 6737 9119 or atlaseye@atlaseye.sg to schedule an appointment.