The best way to protect your vision and keep your eyes healthy is by getting routine complete eye examinations. The doctors at Eye Care Center of Kauai, in Lihue, Hawaii, encourage you to schedule an eye exam before vision problems to develop. Preventive eye exams catch potential problems at an early stage while they’re still treatable or preventable.

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Why are regular eye exams so important?

Getting a regular eye examination is just as important for preventive care as a yearly physical. Routine eye examinations are the only way to find vision problems and eye diseases while they’re still preventable or treatable. Here are some of the top reasons to get eye exams following the recommended schedule:

  • Children’s eyes change as they grow: Worsening vision problems
  • Children fall behind in school when their vision isn’t up to par
  • School screenings aren’t the same as a complete exam
  • Detect age-related eye diseases before they cause vision loss
  • Eye exams reveal health problems like diabetes, hypertension, and inflammatory disorders

How frequently should you get an eye exam?

Pediatricians usually check for the most common eye problems in children under the age of 3 years during routine well-child visits. Then children’s vision should be screened when they enter school and re-examined every 1-2 years up until the age of 18, as long as they don’t have any problems.

Adults who are healthy and have no symptoms of vision problems should follow this schedule:

  • Every 5-10 years in 20’s and 30’s
  • Every 2-4 years from 40-54
  • Every 1-3 years from 55-64
  • Every 1-2 years after age 65

Have your eyes checked more frequently if you wear eyeglasses or contact lenses, have a family history of eye disease, or you have a chronic health condition that puts you at higher risk for serious eye problems, such as diabetes.

What should you expect during a comprehensive eye exam?

The team at the Eye Care Center of Kauai conduct a variety of tests and procedures during an eye exam. Some are simple – like having you read an eye chart – while others use specialized equipment to see tiny structures inside your eyes.

Some of the tests commonly performed during a comprehensive eye exam include:

  • Visual acuity to determine the smallest letters you can read
  • Color blindness test
  • Cover test to see how your eyes work together
  • Eye movement testing
  • Stereopsis test evaluates depth perception
  • Retinoscopy approximates your eyeglass prescription
  • Refraction or autorefractor determine final eyeglass prescription
  • Wavefront technology detects how light travels through the eye
  • Slit lamp to look at structures in the eye
  • Eye pressure to check for glaucoma
  • Visual field test checks your peripheral vision