Comprehensive Eye Exams at Optiko Eyewear in Calgary

Woman receiving an eye exam in Calgary
They say your eyes are the windows to the soul. They are also the windows to your health because they allow your eye doctor to see what's going on inside you.

Did you know your eyes are the only part of your body where eye doctors can look directly at internal, functioning blood vessels? These offer clues and warnings of serious diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, multiple sclerosis (MS), diabetes, and even some types of cancer.

Comprehensive Eye Exams

A comprehensive eye exam can serve as an early detector of serious health problems before other symptoms occur.

During a comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor will assess your visual performance, perform a series of tests for glaucoma, and examine your retina for damage while checking blood vessels, nerve functions and blood flow in your eyes.

Systemic diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis, frequently cause changes in the eye that can show up as inflammation, small blood clots or swelling within the retina. Through a comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor can detect these abnormalities, treat them or, when necessary, refer you to the appropriate medical specialist.

During an exam, a series of tests designed to help evaluate your vision and eye health is performed. Some of these tests may include:

Monocular Refraction

First we determine the correct prescription for each eye individually, using a series of lenses to find the best prescription to optimize the clearest vision and visual comfort.

Binocular Refraction

Once the prescription of each eye is determined, we measure both eyes together to find the right balance between the two eyes. An imbalanced refraction can cause headaches, eyestrain, and double vision.

EOM (Extra-Ocular Muscle) Evaluation

The muscles that move your eyes are controlled by nerves that travel through your brain. Any problems with eye movement may be due to deeper neural problems or systemic disease.

Pupil Reaction Check

A simple test of the way the pupil behaves to light gives a lot of clues to the function of the eye as a whole, and may be used to discover glaucoma, retinal tears, inflammation behind the eye, and even problems in the brain.

Tear Film Evaluation

The tear film covering the surface of the eye actually is a complex system. A basic evaluation of the health and integrity of this surface will help to diagnose corneal conditions such as dry eye.

Eye Alignment Assessment

A slight tendency of the eyes to drift out of alignment can cause headaches, eyestrain, double vision, or difficulty reading or using the computer.

Slit Lamp Biomicroscopy

This allows us to assess the health of the external eye structures such as the eyelids, conjunctiva, cornea, iris, and lens. It also helps to diagnose conditions such as eye injuries, infections, or problems of the inner structures of the eyes, like cataracts. present even with low eye pressure.

Internal Eye Exam

Examination of the inside of the eye allows us to see structures such as the optic nerve, retinal blood vessels, macula, and retina. If needed, we can also dilate the pupil, which allows us to see a much wider area of the retina.eye.

Dry Eye/Allergy Screening

Many people suffer from chronic dry eye (keratoconjunctivitis sicca) or allergic conjunctivitis and attribute the symptoms of blurry or fluctuating vision, redness, blur, pain, itching, and tearing to other conditions. These problems are not always simple to treat, but therapies are constantly improving, and we have methods available now for treating both.

Systemic Disease Consultation

Through different parts of the exam, we are able to see if any systemic conditions that you are being treated for may be causing problems in the eyes, such as dry eye or retinal damage. We will review your list of medications to determine if there are any ocular or visual side effects, and treat those side effects, if necessary. We also may be able to uncover problems like diabetes and elevated cholesterol that were not previously diagnosed. We will work with your primary care physician to properly manage the eye condition and the systemic condition that it is linked to.

Glaucoma Screening

Glaucoma is a disease that has no noticeable symptoms until later stages. It causes slow vision loss beginning from the outside in. By the time vision loss is noticed, it is often too late. Once vision is lost from glaucoma, it cannot be restored. Various screening tests are performed during a routine exam to help detect early signs of glaucoma.

Visual Field Testing

We will do a basic screening of your peripheral vision. If necessary, we can also do a mor detailed assessment of the visual field using a computerized testing device.

Intraocular Pressure

This is the classic sign of glaucoma: high pressure inside the eye. New research has found that this is no longer the only way to detect glaucoma, and that glaucoma may be present even with low eye pressure.

Optic Nerve Head Evaluation

The optic nerve is where the eye connects to the brain. In an eye with glaucoma, the optic nerve takes on a certain shape as damage is done to the nerve tissue inside the eye.

Digital Retinal Photos

Newer technology is allowing us to take high resolution images of the back of the eye. This allows us to see the retina in more detail and can help to detect or confirm our internal exam findings of conditions such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. Even if everything is normal, taking the pictures on a regular basis will allow us to monitor the internal health of the eye and help detect any subtle changes. Though optional, the photos are recommended and available for an additional fee.

Ask Your Eye Doctor

Even if you don’t have any vision problems, it is important to schedule yearly comprehensive eye exams with your eye doctor. This is an easy step you can take to help protect your vision and overall health.

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