Eye Care & Exams
20/20 vision does not always mean healthy eyes. Many eye diseases exist which do not affect distance or near vision. Because of these “silent” diseases, it is important to have complete dilated eye exams.
Eye exams start by taking a thorough history. It is important for the doctor to be aware of all systemic illnesses, ex: diabetes, as well as any medications used. Different systemic illnesses can affect the eyes in different ways. Certain medications including plaquenil and interferon make it necessary to have regular exams due to the potential side effects.
After the history, we often will assess the patient’s need for glasses, if any. This is done behind a machine called a phoropter. The patient is often asked “1 or 2” to help to refine the prescription. Many patients worry that they are giving wrong answers. Please don’t worry about that. We will double check and often triple-check many of the lenses to make sure we are giving you the best eyeglasses possible.
After the refraction is performed, we check eye pressure. Eye pressure is often associated with glaucoma. People may have higher than normal eye pressure and not be aware of it. It is something that cannot be felt. At Maryland Vision Institute, we do no use the “air puff” to check pressures. Rather perform applanation tonometry, which is the gold standard and the instrument used for glaucoma research.
Dilated drops are then place in each eye. Dilated drops are used to enlarge the pupil the give the doctors unobstructed view into the eye. With the dilation, the doctors are able to check for cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and other retinal issues. Having an unobstructed view is the best way to determine subtle changes that may be present inside the eye. Sunglasses are helpful to use after the exam is over to reduce the amount of glare caused by having your pupils dilated.