Having your eyes checked regularly is as important as seeing a dentist for cleanings or a physician for a physical. But many people confuse vision screenings with comprehensive eye exams. Don’t make the same mistake — a vision screening is not a substitute for an in-depth examination. There is a tremendous difference in the depth of the exam, the person conducting the exam and the equipment used.
Read on as Laser Eye Center explains why vision screenings and comprehensive eye exams are not interchangeable.
Vision tests are usually performed as quickly as possible. The goal is to look for major vision problems that have gone undetected. Usually this is done by reading letters on an eye chart.
A vision screening can detect the presence of a vision problem, but cannot diagnose it or determine its severity. Screenings do not look at how the eyes work together, nor do they provide any information about the health of the eyes.
During a comprehensive eye exam, the eye doctor can diagnose refractive errors and other vision problems and prescribe glasses or contacts as needed. An eye exam also includes a complete evaluation of the health of the eyes. The eye doctor looks at the entire optical system (including the cornea, lens, retina and optic nerve) for any irregularities that may be detrimental to ocular health. Catching these problems early is essential to properly treating them.
Lack of Trained Professional
Vision screenings can be conducted by school nurses or even volunteers who have little or no understanding of the eyes. On the other hand, only licensed professionals, such as ophthalmologists or optometrists, can conduct comprehensive eye exams. These doctors have the specialized training needed to make a diagnosis and provide accurate treatment. Licensed professionals also understand the importance of taking down a complete vision and medical history during exam, as this information could uncover risk factors for diseases like glaucoma or macular degeneration.
Limited Testing Equipment
Professional equipment is important when it comes to getting an accurate reading of the eye. Vision screenings are often not set up in a suitable setting with necessary equipment. They may be performed in schools, pediatricians’ offices or even the DMV.
Eye exams use many types of equipment and instruments to precisely diagnose visual problems and look at the structures of the eyes.
At Laser Eye Center, we care about your total vision health, and we believe eye exams should be part of your regular health care routine. Contact us today to request an eye examination with our team of experts.