Examinations are comprehensive and include assessment of vision and eye health. Common vision issues include short-sightedness, long-sightedness and age-related decreases in vision. It is also important to assess convergence- and focus-related issues which can cause visual fatigue or double vision at various distances. Common eye health issues include dry eye and cataracts. You may have eye health problems even if your sight feels clear. Therefore eye health checks are still recommended for those with clear sight and those who have had laser refractive surgery to screen for diseases such as glaucoma and macular degeneration.
Dilated Eye Examination
Pupil dilation is a significant addition to a comprehensive eye exam as it allows the optometrist to fully examine the retina at the back of your eyes. Once drops are instilled in the eyes, the optometrist uses a special magnifying lens that allows better view of the structures at the back of the eye, including the macula, optic nerve, blood vessels and peripheral retina. A patient with diabetic retinopathy may show swelling or leaking of blood vessels in the retina and may also show abnormal growth of blood vessels in the retina. A patient with age-related macular degeneration may show yellow deposits of pigment beneath the retina. A patient with glaucoma may show changes in the shape and colour of the optic nerve.
Dry eye condition is a very common problem that leads to ocular discomfort such as pain, itchiness, burning, grittiness, excessive tearing, dryness, light sensitivity and requires serious assessment and management. Some common causes of dry eyes include working prolonged hours on the computer in an air-conditioned environment, cigarette smoke, poor diet, on medications.
Dry eye management can include treatments such as prescription eye drops, artificial tears, punctal plugs for when your eyes are not producing sufficient tears, eye lubricants therapeutically customised to your condition, oral supplements and oral prescription medications if deemed necessary.