Why Are Eye Exams Necessary?
There are two major reasons for having an eye examination, clear vision and eye health. Clear vision is critical to our performance at home, school and work. When driving, we are all aware that situations arise where only the best possible vision allows us to remain safe such as when driving at night in the snow or rain. How often have you seen a car driving at night where it is obvious the driver is disoriented due to poor vision?
Eyes change over time. That is why experts recommend an eye examination annually to keep your prescriptions for glasses or contacts up to date. Patients who have had LASIK also need to keep their vision up to date. LASIK does not stop the eyes from changing over time. In our office, we estimate that one quarter of our eyeglass and contact lens patients have already had LASIK and now wear glasses or contacts at least part time for their highest performance and safety.
Eye health also a very important reason to have your eyes checked. Major problems such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, retinal tears, detachments, problems related to diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis and other conditions can often be detected with an eye examination. Detection is the key to treatment and possible prevention of vision loss and treatment of other bodily diseases.
More common and less threatening conditions such as dry eye, allergies and infections can be a significant problem for many. Many effective treatments and medications are available for such problems. As an example, treatments for dry eyes can include prescription medications, punctal plugs, drops, heat therapy, and nutritional modifications.
What does our Colorado Springs eye doctor check for?
Powers Eye Center provides very thorough eye examinations. Doctor Neil McAllister's exam protocol usually includes the following steps:
Visual acuity is tested to measure vision without glasses or contacts and with existing vision correction.
Color vision is measured using electronically presented color targets to detect diseases of the eye or genetic weaknesses of color vision.
Our State-of-the-Art Vision & Eye Examination Technology
Wave Front (Hartmann Shack detector) refraction analysis provides a measurement of how uniformly light is focused into the eye. Not only does this provide a starting place for the doctor’s determination of eyeglass and contact lens prescriptions, but it also detects more complicated focusing errors that in the past have not been measureable. Powers Eye Center is one of very few offices in Colorado Springs that has this technology.
Complex focusing errors can be caused by Keratoconus, cataracts and many other conditions of the cornea and internal lens of the eye. Focusing power of the eye can vary with pupil size. This can cause difficulty with night driving vision. These measurements empower the doctor to be able to address such problems by adjusting the prescription accordingly. Very complex focusing errors from keratoconus, post RK surgery, post Lasik surgery failures or other problems can be measured and now can be corrected using scleral contact lenses.
Retinal imaging is included as a standard part of an eye exam at Powers Eye Center. Retinal imaging significantly improves a doctor’s view of the inside of a patient’s eye which facilitates much more effective detection of eye disease. Disease detection and diagnosis is often very dependent on eye changes over time. Having a photographic record of the appearance of the inside of the eye over time is far more accurate than if a doctor simply relies on written notes.
At the Powers Eye Center, we have three retinal imaging systems. Retinal photography is included standard with all eye examinations. Wide field Optos retinal imaging that often provides the doctor with a superior peripheral view of the inside of the eye is also available for a low fee. In addition, we have a Heidelburg Spectralis Optical Coherence Tomographerfor intra retinal examination for glaucoma, macular degeneration, plaquenil testing and diagnosis and management of other retinal and corneal diseases.
Visual field testing provides a means of detecting eye disease as well as diseases of the visual systems of the brain. Visual field testing is included as part of all comprehensive eye examinations without additional charge.
Eye alignment, movement and aiming are tested and measured using a variety of tests.
Measurements for eye glasses and contact lens prescriptions are performed by our doctor, not by a technician unlike many offices in Colorado Springs. The most common reason for seeking an eye examination is to see better. Because seeing clearly is so important and often linked to matters of eye health, our office does not delegate this important part of an eye examination to anyone less than the eye doctor.
Ready to schedule your routine eye exam in Colorado Springs? Call us today to schedule an appointment!