You may consider eye exams rather low on your list of priorities, but seeing an ophthalmologist at least once a year can help you see more clearly and prevent a number of serious diseases that, if not detected early, can rob you of your sight.
But what can you expect at a routine eye exam?
At Omphroy Eye Care, the office of Luis C. Omphroy, MD, in Aiea, Hawaii, you can expect your eye exam to be comprehensive, including testing for your visual acuity (whether you need glasses or contact lenses), as well as testing for a number of common but serious eye diseases, such as glaucoma and retinal problems.
The eye exam is comprehensive, meaning it can take an hour or two, depending on your eye health and what Dr. Omphroy finds during the exam.
He dilates your eyes for the exam so he can see the internal structures better. For this reason, you should come prepared with sunglasses, because you’ll be light-sensitive for a few hours, although you will be able to drive yourself home.
During the exam, Dr. Omphroy performs a number of tests.
This test, called a refraction, measures your near and distance vision. It tells us if you need corrective lenses and, if so, what degree of correction you require.
Dr. Omphroy has you cover one eye at a time and read the letters on the Snellen eye chart from a distance. He may also have you read the letters through a phoropter device, which allows him to test various lenses to see if any make your vision clearer.
If you need glasses or contacts, he prepares a prescription for you.
This test measures your peripheral vision, all vision not in the clear, central region. Dr. Omphroy holds up a finger or an object and gradually moves it from side to side and up and down. You follow the finger with your eyes only.
If he finds that you can’t see certain areas within your peripheral vision, he has you come back to take a computer version of the test, the Octopus visual field analyzer, which can provide more sophisticated results.
After he dilates your eyes, Dr. Omphroy uses a Haag-Streit slit lamp to look inside your eyes. You rest your chin and forehead against the equipment, and the lamp shines a bright light into each eye to illuminate the various structures, including the cornea, lens, retina, optic nerve, and surrounding blood vessels, under high magnification.
This test is also called a fundoscopy.
This test detects the internal pressure of the eye. Increased pressure can lead to glaucoma, a disease that destroys the optic nerve and robs you of your sight. Dr. Omphroy puts numbing drops in your eyes so you don’t feel a thing.
Then he uses a tonometer to blow a small puff of air onto the cornea to measure the pressure. Alternatively, he may use applanation tonometry, where a flat-tipped cone gently rests against your cornea and measures the amount of pressure needed to flatten a portion of it.
Dr. Omphroy uses Maestro optical coherence tomography to evaluate the health of the retina, cornea, and optic nerve.
A digital camera or a computerized low-power imaging scanning system obtains thousands of images in a few seconds, and the patterns it reveals indicate the status of the various structures. He also uses the iTrace™ topographer to diagnose corneal pathology.
Once he’s finished with the exam, Dr. Omphroy discusses his findings with you. If your eyes are healthy and you don’t need a change of prescription, you come back in a year or two for another comprehensive exam.
If he discovers any signs of eye disease, such as the beginnings of glaucoma, a retinal tear, a cloudy lens (cataract), or a problem with the cornea, he schedules follow-up tests to determine the extent of the problem and recommends treatment options, or he refers you to a specialist for further investigation and treatment.
Your eyes are your windows to the world, and your sight is too valuable to lose. Be proactive about your eye health by scheduling a comprehensive eye exam with Omphroy Eye Care. Call our office to book your appointment today.