Though having an up-to-date eyeglass or contact lens prescription is important, eye exams are about more than just testing how well you can see. At his practice offices in Rochester Hills and Hazel Park, Michigan, board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Gerald J. Mullan performs comprehensive eye exams to detect eye problems like glaucoma and macular degeneration before they become serious. To protect your eye health, schedule an eye exam by calling or using the convenient online booking tool.
One purpose of an eye exam is to determine how clearly you see and whether you have any refractive errors, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, that require corrective lenses. However, that’s far from the only purpose — eye exams are necessary to detect problems with your eye health, which is why you should get them regularly, rather than waiting until you see changes in your vision.
Though changes in your vision may simply mean you need stronger glasses or contacts, they’re often a sign of something more serious. In fact, many diseases that lead to vision loss — like glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy — only cause noticeable symptoms after they’ve progressed. You can’t recognize the warning signs for these conditions on your own, so regular eye exams are the best way to detect them early and get treatment to preserve your vision.
Your eye exam may last at least an hour and involve a series of tests to evaluate your vision and eye health. These tests include:
Dr. Mullan tests how well your eyes move by having you follow a small object, such as a pen, across the room.
To test how sharp your vision is, Dr. Mullan asks you to identify letters on a chart or screen that get progressively smaller.
Dr. Mullan determines if you have a refractive error, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, that would require corrective lenses. If you do, he then fine tunes the strength of the lenses you need.
Dr. Mullan uses a microscope called a slit lamp to examine the front part of your eyes, including the eyelids, eyelashes, corneas, irises, and lenses.
This test measures the level of pressure in your eyes, which predicts your risk for glaucoma.
Dr. Mullan gives you eye drops that enlarge your pupils to examine the structures inside your eye, including your retina.
In addition to conducting these tests, Dr. Mullan takes a full medical history. Certain conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure are risk factors for your eye health. He also asks if you’re experiencing any problems with your eyes or vision and answers any questions you may have.
In preparation for your eye exam, write down any eye problems you’re experiencing or have experienced in the past, as well as your family’s history of eye problems. Also, have a list of medications you take regularly, including over-the-counter medicine and supplements. You may find it hard to remember everything off the top of your head during the exam.
You should also prepare to have your pupils dilated. They stay dilated for a few hours after the exam, so you’re more sensitive to light and have difficulty seeing up-close detail, which makes reading difficult. Be sure to bring sunglasses to wear afterward, and arrange for a ride home if you don’t feel comfortable driving.
Regular eye exams are one of the best things you can do for your health. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Mullan, call or use the online booking tool.