20s and 30s Eye Exams

20s 30s woman eye examA regular eye exam is the best way to protect your eyesight—and an easy precaution to take. It is particularly important if you notice a change in your vision, if your eye is injured in any way, or if you have a family history of eye disease. Regardless, you should have an eye exam at least every two years; problems could develop without any signs or symptoms. 

Did you know?

Your eyes can be a window to your overall health. Many illnesses can be detected during a comprehensive eye exam; diabetes, high blood pressure, autoimmune diseases, sexually transmitted diseases and cancers are examples. During your eye exam, your eye care professional has an unobstructed view of blood vessels, nerves and connecting tissue and abnormalities spotted in the eye may signal the same abnormalities in other parts of the body. 

What to Expect at an Eye Exam

Each eye doctor is different, but most eye exams follow a similar pattern. First, your doctor will review your personal and family health history – checking for special risk factors like eye disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or poor vision. Prepare with this handy Eye Exam Checklist.

Then, they’ll conduct tests to check for:

  • Vision - The doctor will check for nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. While you look at an eye chart, the doctor will measure your vision precisely, and, if necessary, determine a prescription for corrective lenses.
  • Coordination of eye muscles - The doctor will move a light in a set pattern to test your ability to use both eyes together.
  • Side (peripheral) vision - The doctor will move an object at the edge of your field of vision to make sure you can see it.
  • Pupil response to light - The doctor will shine a light in your eye and watch the pupil's reaction.
  • Eyelid health and function - The doctor will examine your eyelid, inside and out.
  • The interior and back of the eye - After dilating your eyes (by both using a few eye drops and dimming the lights so the pupils will widen), the doctor will use a special instrument called an ophthalmoscope to see through to the retina and optic nerve at the back of the eye
  • Measurement of fluid pressure - The doctor will release a puff of air onto your eyeball using an instrument called a tonometer.  This tests the pressure inside the eyeball, an early indicator of Glaucoma and other diseases.

Pregnancy and Vision

Some women experience changes in their eyesight when they are pregnant.  Hormone levels during pregnancy can change the thickness of your cornea temporarily causing blurred vision.  You may need different or additional vision correction for a few months. If you wear contact lenses, you may find that your eyes are uncomfortably dry during your pregnancy. The good news is that your eyes should return to normal shortly after your baby arrives. Be sure to talk to your eye care professional if you have any questions.