Eye Exams

The Importance of Eye Testing for Optimal Ocular Health

In order to maintain our ocular health, we require periodic examinations from optometrists to prevent, detect, and treat diseases and complications, including those involving motor visual and cognitive deficits.

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What Do Eye Exams Test For?

Eye exams are important for checking vision and assessing overall eye health. These include routine vision exams as well as more extensive testing. Eye assessments are critical for:

  • Assessing overall visual acuity, and prescribing corrective measures such as glasses and contact lenses for children and adults
  • Comprehensive testing of all aspects of visual health
  • Detecting evidence of macular degeneration such as glaucoma and other degenerative disorders, and initiating treatment or therapy
  • Monitoring and treating ocular conditions such as cataracts and corneal laceration
  • Detecting and treating infections or symptoms indicating the onset of infection
  • Identifying visual-motor and neurological deficits and implementing corrective measures including a rehabilitation plan of Vision Therapy

Which Ocular Symptoms Require Immediate Attention?

Contact an optometrist if you experience any of the following signs; particularly those following trauma to the head or orbital region. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort, refrain from wearing contact lenses until you have been examined by an optometrist. 

  • Pain or discomfort
  • Heavy tearing
  • Redness, swelling, irritation
  • Loss of vision, double or blurred vision
  • Bulging eyes
  • Discharge or crustiness
  • Floaters
  • The sensation of a foreign object
Which Ocular Symptoms Require Immediate Attention?
What Treatments are Used for Various Ocular Disorders?

What Treatments are Used for Various Ocular Disorders?

Treatments vary depending on complications, the health and medical history of the patient, and how early the condition is detected. Different interventions include:

  • Correcting vision with prescription glasses, contact lenses, or surgery.
  • Antibiotics for infections such as conjunctivitis
  • Surgery to correct cataracts or other issues such as corneal laceration
  • Medicated drops to prevent visual deterioration from glaucoma
  • Vision Therapy for people with visual-motor or neurological deficits
  • Removal of a foreign object
What Treatments are Used for Various Ocular Disorders?

What to Expect from An Eye Exam

Eye examinations include simple tests to assess general vision, as well as more comprehensive examinations for overall eye health.  Depending on how extensive the testing an exam can take up to 90 minutes. Exams for the young and healthy are generally shorter in duration and should average under 30 minutes. Many experts recommend that children have a comprehensive examination before beginning grade school, followed by subsequent annual testing. Common tests include:

  • Visual Acuity Assessment: This checks overall vision. You will be asked to read from a Snellen chart where the letters decrease in size as you progress down the chart.
  • Assessing The Pupil: The doctor will see how well your pupils adjust to nearby objects and light, as well as examine external parts of the orbital region.
  • Checking Ocular-Muscle Movement: This is a common way to measure alignment. The doctor will ask you to follow and track an object. 
  • Cover Test: The optometrist will cover and uncover each eye while you focus on an object, to determine how well they work in unison.
  • Fundoscopy: A magnifying instrument called an ophthalmoscope is used to observe the retina and optic nerve
  • Glaucoma testing: Diagnosis is easy and painless, using a device that subjects the eyes to bursts of strong air pressure. 
  • An open-dilated test: This is a standard procedure for diabetics and other high-risk patients, where drops are administered to dilate the pupils, allowing thorough evaluation. Take a friend with you if you are driving, since you will be unable to drive home.
  • A slit-lamp examination: This instrument creates a 3D image, allowing for analysis of the entire orbital structure.

In addition to standard assessments for visual acuity, the following groups require more extensive testing. These include:

  • Diabetics and others with disorders that make them vulnerable to macular degeneration
  • People with a family history of ocular disease 
  • People taking steroid-based medications
  • Those with high blood pressure or high blood pressure
  • Heavy drinkers and smokers
  • Adults after 40
  • Children born at a low birth weight

Speak with your optometrist to determine how often to schedule comprehensive testing.

Which Ocular Symptoms Require Immediate Attention?

Common Questions

Speak to your optometrist to find out how often to schedule exams. Children should have a comprehensive exam before beginning grade school. Good vision is essential for academic and social success. A thorough exam will also gauge whether prescription glasses are required.
Visual acuity is the ability to see a target object clearly at a certain distance. For instance, seeing 20/20 means that a person can see the target clearly and sharply as opposed to someone who has 20/100 who can see at 20 feet what someone sees clearly at 100 feet. There are also two types of acuities, distance and near. cartoon Additional Information Comprehensive exams are crucial for assessing visual acuity and ocular health by preventing and treating various disorders. Always inform your optometrist of aberrant symptoms. If your signs are serious, such as those following trauma to the head, seek immediate medical attention. Contact us today if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment. Related Articles Understanding Your Prescription Making Sense of Your Glasses Prescription Read More Pediatric Eye Exams The Importance of Pediatric Eye Examinations for Children Read More How Often Should You Have A Comprehensive Eye Exam? The Importance of Extensive Eye Exams Read More Contact Lens Exam The following article provides information about what you can expect from a contact lens exam, and the different stages required for getting contact lenses. Read More Vision Screenings vs Comprehensive Exams The following article addresses the difference between a vision screening, which is limited in scope and in what it can detect, and a comprehensive eye exam Read More Why Online Vision Tests can't Replace your Eye Doctor? Online vision tests are not a replacement for proper testing from an optometrist. The following article will explain why this is so. Read More Eye Exams In order to maintain our ocular health, we require periodic examinations from optometrists to prevent, detect, and treat diseases and complications Read More Learn More Routine Eye Care - Q&A Page Routine eye care is necessary to prevent eye disease and detect early signs of conditions such as macular degeneration and glaucoma. Read More Color Blindness People who are color blind see colors differently than other people. Read More Understanding Your Prescription Making Sense of Your Glasses Prescription Read More Eye Strain and Blue Light The following article addresses digital induced eye strain and effective remedies for improving the condition Read More Pediatric Eye Exams The Importance of Pediatric Eye Examinations for Children Read More Vision Care Glossary The following article will provide definitions and explanations to clarify basic terminology of standard eye care and vision-related services. Read More 1 2 3 Next » Contact Us To Amplify Your EyeCare I'M READY Logo Working Hours Monday - Saturday Closed Sunday Closed Location Phone Website Accessibility Policy Safety Protocols Page
A few things can be expected when coming in for an eye exam. Every patient will be greeted by the front desk. For first time patients there will be some paperwork to fill out, namely intake forms. First time patients should also bring their insurance information if applicable. Returning patients need only arrive at the office and wait to be seen. If a patient wears glasses they should bring in their most recent pair so the doctors can take a look. Lastly, everyone should have an enjoyable and safe experience.
Most exams follow a similar layout in terms of tests performed. There is a visual acuity test, retinoscopy, refraction, external exam, slit lamp, and a dilation. These tests center around clarity of vision, retinal health and general eye health.
Diabetes is often first diagnosed by eye doctors, which is especially true with offices that have advanced diagnostics equipment such as an OCT and ERG. These devices are able to identify damage far earlier than other eye exams. In addition, eye doctors are often the first to identify diabetes since blurry vision is one of the first signs of the condition. Diabetes can be detected in an eye exam even if no symptoms are present. It is important to keep in mind the importance of annual comprehensive eye exams as a dilated comprehensive eye exam can detect many diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, hypertension, and other conditions.
Dr. Zurcher cartoon


In order to maintain a lifetime of vision and ocular health, there are no substitutes for eye examinations to assess all aspects of ocular health, and to monitor for visual motor and neurological deficits, and ocular disease. Contact us today to find out more about vision testing.


Such a nice optician. My grandson is only 4 and needs glasses. We were so sad, but he explained the issues, and we will follow up as he suggested.

Anna P.

I had such a good experience with the clinic. Very friendly staff and doctor, did not have to wait for long to be called, and was treated respectfully. Thanks, American Family.

June S.

Dr. Zurcher has gone above and beyond what any other eye doctor has ever done to figure out what is going on with my eyes. Very happy with American Family Vision.

Christine R.

Family Vision Clinic changed our lives! My daughter was frequently car sick, and she was getting headaches every day, often painful enough that they brought her to tears. We saw a string of doctors and therapists, but we made no progress. Finally, we found Dr. Levi Zurcher and his eye therapist Rain. After ten weeks of eye therapy my daughter no longer gets headaches, and she no longer gets car sick. Daily tears are a thing of the past. I really can’t say enough about this clinic. It was fascinating to watch Dr. Zurcher work. For the first time, someone who knew what they were doing was intently studying my daughter, really trying to figure out all of her eye issues, and his therapist Rain is one of the most patient and lovely people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. We’re finished with eye therapy—yay!—and I have switched to American Family Vision Clinic for all of my family’s other eye health needs.

Lars Wulff

Very professional, yet kind and helpful. They do what they can to make the appointment comfortable. I was running a bit late, I made sure ti call. They were able to switch me with a patient who was already there, they treated me with respect, and helped my son have confidence by getting him the eye care he needed that day. Thank you so much! Would recommend to anyone. It's a blessing that they care enough to work with people who have all different types of insurance from work to state coverage.

Justin E.

The staff is friendly. The Doc is very knowledgeable. The office is family friendly and everyone is so patient with the little ones.

Amy Fagerness
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