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Why Are Dilated Eye Exams So Important?

Ramsey Eye Care Dilated Eye Exam near you in Charleston, West Virginia

Having your eyes dilated during an eye exam may seem like a nuisance. But when you consider the benefits of a dilated eye exam, the temporary blurred vision and sensitivity to light that typically follow are definitely worth it.

What Are Dilated Eye Exams?

At some point during a comprehensive eye exam, your optometrist will shine a bright light into your eyes to examine the back of your eye, called the retina. The problem is that bright light causes the size of the pupil’s opening to shrink, which makes it hard for the optometrist to see a large portion of the retina.

That’s why eye doctors apply special eye drops in each eye to keep the pupils open. A dilated pupil allows for a much more accurate assessment of your eye’s structures, including the focusing lens, blood vessels and tissues at the back of the eye called the retina, as well as the optic nerve and macula.

Dilating the eyes makes it easier for your optometrist to detect the following conditions and diseases:

It’s important to note that many of these conditions can develop without noticeable symptoms, until they cause vision loss at which point treatment may be more challenging, making dilated eye exams all the more crucial.

The Dilation Process

First, your eye doctor will apply eye drops to each eye to trigger dilation of the pupil. Your eyes should be fully dilated about 10-20 minutes later.

Your eyes will remain dilated for 4-6 hours, and during this time you may be sensitive to light. That’s because the larger pupil allows more light than usual to enter the eye. Many patients find it more comfortable to wear sunglasses until their eyes return to normal.

Reading and using a computer may be difficult with dilated eyes, and your vision may be blurred. Some patients report feeling a tightening sensation in their eyelids, or headaches.

Dilated eye exams are a crucial part of keeping your eyes healthy. To schedule your comprehensive eye exam, call our optometry practice today!

Ramsey Eye Care, your Charleston eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

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At what age should one have a dilated eye exam?

You should have your dilated eye exam no matter your age. Most eye doctors will dilate a new patient at their first exam regardless of age to get a baseline of their retinal health.

Will I be able to return to work after a dilated eye exam?

Everyone reacts differently, so it’s hard to tell. If your job requires you to focus on small print or detail, it may be challenging. Typing and writing may also be difficult with dilated pupils. To be on the safe side, book your appointment at the end of your work day, clear your schedule after your eye exam and only plan to do activities which aren’t visually demanding.

Do I need Eye Exams?

Do you wait until you notice a problem before visiting your eye doctor for an eye exam? Or do you schedule routine check-ups?

Many people are not aware of how important it is to have regular eye exams. In fact, it is the most dependable way to preserve your long-lasting eye health and quality vision.

Don’t make the mistake of waiting until you have a complaint about your vision before reserving your comprehensive eye exam. Book an appointment today with Dr. Ramsey, your expert optometrist in Charleston,West Virginia.

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Are Eye Exams important ?

Clear and healthy vision plays a primary role in every part of your life, which is why preventive eye care is so critical. What you may not know is that many common eye diseases and vision conditions do not cause symptoms at the beginning. It is only when these disorders, such as glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration, progress to a later stage that problems appear. Unfortunately, that is also when vision damage has already occurred and treatment has a less positive prognosis. In contrast, when eye disease is caught early by an eye exam, your eye doctor can treat it immediately – before there is any irreversible vision loss.

Along with inspecting for eye disease, Dr. Ramsey will also check your vision during an eye exam in our La Jolla office. Vision does not generally stay the same throughout all stages of life. We will verify that your current vision prescription is accurate to ensure that you receive the most appropriate vision correction, including eyeglasses, bifocal/multifocal, and contact lenses.

Ramsey Eye Care Eye Clinic and Eye Exams in Charleston, West Virginia

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Our Charleston eye doctor has prepared the following answers to your questions about eye disease.

What to Expect During Your Eye Exam

We treat every patient who enters our Charleston, West Virginia, eye care center as a unique individual. That means you will benefit from the specific tests and procedures you need, depending upon your age, health condition, visual symptoms, and the judgment of our eye doctor.

In general, a complete eye exam begins with taking your case history and asking questions about your lifestyle requirements. We will then assess visual acuity, binocularity, color vision, peripheral vision, and ocular health. Your eye doctor may also use tonometry (puff test or blue light) to measure intraocular pressure, which is a screening procedure for glaucoma. Depending upon the results of all of these tests, we may perform additional procedures using the latest technology, such as digital retinal imaging and OCT scans.

Local Eye Exams in Charleston, West Virginia

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What to Expect During a Pediatric Eye Exam

Children are not simply little adults. That means they have different visual needs and risks than adults. As they grow, they may develop vision problems that could compromise learning and development. Only a comprehensive pediatric eye exam can detect these conditions. That’s why the American Optometric Association advises kids should have their eyes examined at six months old, at three years old (unless diagnosed with a vision condition that requires an earlier examination), and again before starting elementary school (age 5-6). If no vision correction or therapy is needed, follow-up eye exams should be scheduled every one to two years. Our eye doctor is highly qualified and experienced at performing specialized eye exams for kids in the Charleston area.

During your child’s eye exam in our Ramsey Eye Care practice, we will evaluate the following functional vision skills:

  • Visual acuity
  • Eye teaming/Binocularity
  • Focusing ability/Accommodation
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Visual perception skills

Ocular health is the foundation for clear vision, and our optometrist will also examine the inner eye tissues, as well the tissues around the eye for any abnormalities. If necessary, we may use dilating eye drops to obtain a sharper view.

Find an eye exam near you!

Now that you are aware of all the reasons to have regular eye exams and what to expect during your appointment, we hope you’ll contact us to schedule a visit to our welcoming Charleston optometry practice!

Call Ramsey Eye Care on 304-308-6988 to schedule an eye exam with our Charleston optometrist. Alternatively book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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