May is Healthy Vision Month, a national eye health observance established by the National Eye Institute (NEI) in May 2003. NEI is one of the National Institutes of Health, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Healthy Vision Month is designed to elevate vision as a health priority for the Nation. Millions of people living in the United States have undetected vision problems, eye diseases, and conditions. Please join us in educating people in your community about the importance of comprehensive dilated eye exams in maintaining eye health and preserving sight.
A comprehensive dilated eye exam is a painless procedure in which an eye care professional examines your eyes to look for common vision problems and eye diseases, many of which have no early warning signs. Regular comprehensive eye exams can help you protect your sight and make sure that you are seeing your best.
What does a comprehensive dilated eye exam include?
A comprehensive eye examination includes:
Dilation: Drops are placed in your eyes to dilate, or widen, the pupils. Your eye care professional uses a special magnifying lens to examine your retina to look for signs of damage and other eye problems, such as diabetic retinopathy or age-related macular degeneration. A dilated eye exam also allows your doctor to check for damage to the optic nerve that occurs when a person has glaucoma. After the examination, your close-up vision may remain blurred for several hours.
Tonometry: This test helps to detect glaucoma by measuring eye pressure. Your eye care professional may direct a quick puff of air onto the eye, or gently apply a pressure-sensitive tip near or against the eye. Numbing drops may be applied to your eye for this test. Elevated pressure is a possible sign of glaucoma.
Visual field test: This test measures your side (peripheral) vision. It helps your eye care professional find out if you have lost side vision, a sign of glaucoma.
Visual acuity test: This eye chart test measures how well you see at various distances.