Routine Eye Exams FAQs

Routine Eye Exams FAQs

Clear and strong vision can make a huge difference to our day to day lives. We rely on our vision to confirm what our other senses can tell us, to keep us safe, to enable us to work and to interact with people around us. Without healthy eyes, it can be difficult to live life to the fullest. While routine eye exams should be a priority for all patients, the truth is that there are many people who overlook these appointments, and only visit their eye doctor when they concerned that there is a problem with their eyes. There are also many people who have never had their eyes checked.

To help you understand what to expect, here are some of the most common questions we are asked about routine eye exams.

Do I need an eye exam?

It’s nearly impossible to tell if someone is experiencing problems with their eyes just by looking at them. But you yourself should be able to tell if your vision isn’t as clear as it once was, or if you are experiencing other symptoms that suggest that you could benefit from a visit to your eye doctor. Some of the things to look out for include:

  • Blurred vision

  • Headaches and migraines

  • Distorted vision

  • Issues with depth perception, reaction times and other visual skills

  • Tired, itchy and dry eyes

  • Swelling or puffiness around the eyes

  • Recurrent pain in or around the eye

  • Seeing abnormalities, such as flashes, rainbows haloes and spots

If you have any concerns about your vision, it’s always worth scheduling an appointment with your eye doctor and not waiting for your usual annual visit.

How long does a routine eye exam take?

Exactly how long your eye exam will take will depend on your individual circumstances, but most patients can expect their appointment to take between 30 and 45 minutes. If you need glasses or contact lenses, you may need to allow additional time to select these.

How often should I have an eye exam?

If you wear glasses or contact lenses, or if you are over the age of 40, your eye doctor will probably recommend that you attend an eye exam annually. This enables your vision to be closely monitored to make sure that it isn’t changing, as well as keeping track of the health and condition of your eyes. This is especially important as we get older as we become more susceptible to eye conditions such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and glaucoma. Early identification of eye diseases enables prompt treatment and the long-term preservation of your vision. Children should also have yearly eye exams as their vision can change rapidly as they grow.

Do I need an appointment for an eye exam, or can I just walk in?

Ordinarily, it may be possible to walk into an eye doctor to see if any appointments for an eye test are available. However, in the current climate nearly all practices are operating an appointment-only basis to ensure that they can meet the guidelines surrounding COVID-safety. As a result, we strongly recommend that you call and schedule your eye exam in advance.

Will I have to get my eyes dilated?

Pupil dilation is a common part of most comprehensive eye exams. It’s important as it enables your eye doctor to look through your eyes and see the structures inside and at the back of them. Eye dilation doesn’t hurt as special drops are used, but your eyes will be extra sensitive to light until the effects have worn off. Your vision may also be a little blurred for a few hours, although you should still be able to drive yourself home.

What will happen at my eye exam?

A variety of different tests and assessments form a comprehensive eye exam. This includes checking your eye pressure, looking at the structures inside your eye, taking images of your retina and asking you to read an eye chart. The data from these tests, combined with the information that you will give your eye doctor about your health and habits, will enable them to determine if you need prescription lenses or treatment for any conditions that may be developing.  

What happens if I need glasses or contact lenses?

If you have a refractive eye error, you will need to wear prescription lenses to correct your vision. Most people start out wearing glasses, although you will have a choice. Your eye doctor will be able to advise you which solution would be best for you and talk to you about the various options available within each. For example, there are different coatings for prescription eyeglass lenses, and there are a variety of styles to choose from. If your vision stabilizes, you may be able to have laser vision correction in the future.

If you have additional questions, please don’t hesitate to call our office at (305)-902-3320 to speak to our experienced eye care team or schedule a routine eye exam in Miami Gardens, FL.

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