What is an eye exam?
An eye exam is the way an ophthalmologist tests your vision and eye health. Your vision will be checked to see if you need glasses or contact lenses. Dr. Bellotte will also test the health of your eyes to make sure that you do not have any other medical eye problems.
When should I have an eye exam?
Even if you do not wear glasses you should have an eye exam regularly.
Most Academies recommend that you have an eye exam according to the following schedule:
- Ages 18 to 40 -> every 2 to 3 years
- Ages 41 and older -> every year
If you wear glasses or contact lenses, you must have an exam at least once a year to renew your prescription. If you are at risk for certain eye problems such as glaucoma or if you have diabetes, you should see an eye doctor once a year or more. School-aged kids should also be tested once a year.
You should also see your eye doctor if you have:
- blurry vision or eyestrain
- eye pain
- red eyes
- blind spots
- any other eye problem
How do I prepare for an eye exam?
You don’t need to do anything special before your eye exam. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, be sure to take them with you. Be prepared to answer questions about your vision and health history. The doctors will want to know if you are having any vision problems. Your job has a big effect on your vision, so your doctor will want to know if you do a lot of computer work or drive a lot, for example. The doctor will also want to know if you have any general health problems and what medicines you are taking.
What happens during an eye exam?
Dr. Bellotte will ask you if you are having any problems with your eyes. They will check to see if you are near-sighted, far-sighted, have astigmatism, or need reading glasses.
Next, the doctors will check your eye health. They use a special type of microscope to carefully check the front and back parts of your eye. They will measure the amount of fluid pressure in your eyes to test for glaucoma. They also may use special eye drops to dilate your pupils. This opens up the pupils so that they can see your retina and optic nerve at the back of your eye. They will check for serious problems like cataracts, retinal detachment, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. Symptoms of many health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and strokes can also be seen in the eyes. If any eye health problems are found, they will certainly prescribe medications or perform more testing. They may even need to communicate with your primary care physician if they find a medical problem.
What happens after the eye exam?
If Dr. Bellotte dilates your pupils, it can take several hours to wear off, so your near vision may be a little blurry and you may be sensitive to light for a few hours. You must take care after having your eyes dilated, by wearing sunglasses or having friend or family member drive you home from your appointment.
What are the benefits of an eye exam?
An eye exam will insure that you are seeing as clearly and comfortably as possible. Also, if the doctors find any signs of an eye disease, you may get treatment before the eye disease becomes a problem. Often times, the doctors may be able to diagnose a systemic disease just by looking in your eyes.
When should I call Dr. Brent Bellotte at West Boca Eye Center?
Call immediately if you have:
- loss of vision or double vision
- pain in or around your eyes
- flashing lights or objects floating in your vision
- red eyes with crusty eyelashes or yellow mucus in the corner of your eye
- any time you think you are having a problem with your eyes