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Are All Eye Exams the Same?

Nov 10, 2023 | Eye Health

Have you ever tried taking an eye exam online? Or has your child had their eyes checked at school? While these options may seem convenient and easy, only a comprehensive eye exam can detect signs of eye diseases and other general health conditions. 

In this blog, we’ll discuss the differences between a vision screening, an online eye exam, and a comprehensive eye exam and why a comprehensive eye exam is essential for maintaining optimal vision.  

Vision screening 

A vision screening is a basic test that checks your eyesight by asking you to identify letters or shapes on a chart. It’s typically performed by a school nurse or family physician and only measures visual acuity, or how clear your vision is at a distance.  

While a vision screening can identify children who may be at risk of vision problems, it is not a complete eye exam. A vision screening won’t catch early signs of eye diseases and other eye issues, and people with eye problems may pass a vision screening. That’s why it’s important to schedule regular comprehensive eye exams to detect any underlying eye conditions that may affect your child’s performance in school or their quality of life. 

Online eye exam 

Online eye exams may seem like an easy way to get your eyes checked, but they are not a substitute for an in-person eye exam. Online exams use computerized programs that only test visual acuity. While they may give you an idea of how well you see, they cannot detect early warning signs of eye diseases or other health conditions or determine the overall health of your eyes.  

Comprehensive eye exam 

During a comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor will perform a variety of tests to check your overall eye health. These exams typically include a refraction test to assess a patient’s vision, an eye pressure test to detect glaucoma, a dilated eye exam to examine the retina, and other eye tests as necessary.  

Comprehensive eye exams are essential for maintaining healthy eyesight because they can detect early warning signs of eye diseases such as macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, and other eye-related problems. These exams are especially important for people over 40 since eye diseases and vision problems are much more common as we age. Additionally, a comprehensive eye exam can reveal signs of other health conditions like hypertension, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and even cancer. 

In conclusion, vision screenings and online eye exams can be helpful as an initial screening, but they’re not a replacement for a comprehensive eye exam. Regular in-person eye exams with a qualified optometrist are crucial for maintaining your eye health and overall health. Don’t wait until you experience symptoms of eye conditions or health issues to schedule your exam. Contact the Eyecare Center of Ken Caryl in Littleton, Colorado today to book an appointment.