Comprehensive Eye Exams vs. Routine Vision Screenings

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When was the last time you had your eyes checked? Just as it’s important to get a yearly physical from a medical doctor, it’s equally vital to get an annual eye exam from an eye doctor. But should you schedule a comprehensive eye exam or a routine vision screening? Explore the differences between these two services to help you decide.

What is a Routine Vision Screening?

Also known as an eye test, a routine vision screening is a roughly 30-minute appointment that tests your eyesight and looks for potential vision problems. The screening may be performed by your primary care provider or administered to children by a school nurse.

Vision screenings are not intended to diagnose or treat vision problems. So if anything concerning comes up, you’ll need to schedule a visit with an eye care specialist for a more in-depth exam.

What is a Comprehensive Eye Exam?

Vision screenings are better than nothing, but they are far more limited than comprehensive eye examinations. An eye exam may take 60 minutes or more and is performed by an optometrist (eye doctor) or ophthalmologist (surgical eye doctor). An ophthalmic technician may also conduct the vision tests included in a comprehensive eye exam. Here’s what to expect:

  • An OPD test measures your eye’s refractive power and analyzes your cornea using advanced digital technology. If you require cataract surgery, an OPD scan helps your ophthalmologist choose the best lens implant for your unique vision needs.
  • A series of vision tests come next. A technician measures how clearly you can see, tests how well your eyes can track moving objects, determines if you have difficulty distinguishing colors, and checks whether you can see objects “out of the corner of your eye.”
  • A pupil dilation test may occur at the end of your appointment. This allows the optometrist to look inside your eye using a slit lamp. By examining the lens, retina, and other eye structures, the doctor can tell if you’re developing glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, or other eye diseases.

Why are Comprehensive Eye Exams Essential for Vision Health?

While vision screenings are useful tools, they cannot replace routine eye exams. The comprehensive care you receive makes it possible to diagnose vision problems in their earliest stages when they’re the most treatable. The appointment won’t take as long if your eyes are in good health, and you won’t have to schedule another visit if the optometrist discovers an underlying problem. Instead, you’ll receive an immediate diagnosis and begin treatment right away.

Schedule an Eye Exam at Snead Eye Group

If you live in Fort Myers, Naples, Bonita Springs, or Cape Coral, FL, the team at Snead Eye Group would be happy to provide your entire family with the best eye treatment available. Our comprehensive eye exams aim to safeguard your eye health for better vision and quality of life. If it’s been over a year since your last eye exam, please call us at (239) 936-8686 and book an appointment today.


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