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COMPREHENSIVE EYE CARE

What is Comprehensive Eye Care?

At Colorado Cataract & Laser, we offer the best comprehensive eye care in Colorado.

Approximately half of blindness is preventable. Having annual eye exams is crucial in protecting, and preventing your eyes against blindness. While younger patients who have healthy vision only require eye exams once or twice a decade, older patients should really plan on having an exam every two to three years with healthy eyes. For those with a history of eye health problems, you may be recommended visits more frequently to monitor your vision.


Consider requesting an appointment if you have:

  • A Family history of eye disease.
  • Previous eye injury.
  • Diabetes or high blood pressure.
  • Have not had an examination in over 2 years.

Are you due for an eye exam? Contact us today to setup an appointment!


Eye Exam

To ensure you are maintaining decent vision, and have healthy eyes, it is important to have routine eye exams, especially as you get older. Consult your eye care professional regarding the consistency of eye exams that you should maintain.

Having regular eye exams can help to diagnose eye conditions you may have, and to capitalize on finding out about it early. In children, amblyopia (lazy eye) and strabismus (crossed eye) can be diagnosed and treated in early childhood and can help in avoiding life-long vision impairment.


What’s the difference between routine and medical eye examinations?

Routine Eye Examination

A routine eye examination occurs when an examination takes places without any medical eye problem. When you come in for a yearly, or bi-yearly eye examination is considered the routine eye exam. The doctors at Colorado Cataract & Laser will screen your eyes to make sure you do not have any medical conditions. These examination let the doctor know the health of your eye, and to update lens prescriptions.

Medical Eye Examination

Your visit will be considered as a medical eye examination if you are being evaluated or treated for a condition or symptom you bring up to our doctors. Examples of medical eye examinations include: dry eyes, glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, and allergies among others.


Common Eye Conditions

Myopia (Nearsightedness)
Nearsighted individuals typically have problems seeing well at a distance and are forced to wear glasses or contact lenses. The nearsighted eye is usually longer than a normal eye, and its cornea may also be steeper. Therefore, when light passes through the cornea and lens, it is focused in front of the retina. This will make distant images appear blurred. There are several refractive surgery solutions available to correct nearly all levels of nearsightedness.
Hyperopia (Farsightedness)
Farsighted individuals typically develop problems reading up close before the age of 40. The farsighted eye is usually slightly shorter than a normal eye and may have a flatter cornea. Thus, the light of distant objects focuses behind the retina unless the natural lens can compensate fully. Near objects require even greater focusing power to be seen clearly and therefore, blur more easily. LASIK, Refractive Lens Exchange and Contact lenses are a few of the options available to correct farsightedness.
Astigmatism
Asymmetric steepening of the cornea or natural lens causes light to be focused unevenly, which is the main optical problem in astigmatism. To individuals with uncorrected astigmatism, images may look blurry or shadowed. Astigmatism can accompany any form of refractive error and is very common. Astigmatism can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, corneal relaxing incisions, laser vision correction, and special implant lenses.
Presbyopia
Presbyopia is a condition that typically becomes noticeable for most people around age 45. In children and young adults, the lens inside the eye can easily focus on distant and near objects. With age, the lens loses its ability to focus adequately. Although presbyopia is not completely understood, it is thought that the lens and its supporting structures lose the ability to make the lens longer during close vision effort. To compensate, affected individuals usually find that holding reading material further away makes the image clearer. Ultimately, aids such as reading glasses are typically needed by the mid-forties.

Besides glasses, presbyopia can be dealt with in a number of ways. Options include: monovision and multifocal contact lenses, monovision laser vision correction, and new presbyopia correcting implant lenses.


Eye Exams 101

Are You EyeSmart?

Getting an eye exam is an important part of staying healthy. But do you know when you should get an eye exam and what the exam should cover? Be EyeSmart! Read up on the basics to get the right exam at the right time and ensure your vision lasts a lifetime.

When Should You Have an Eye Exam?

The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that you get a baseline eye examination at age 40, the time when early signs of disease or changes in vision may occur. Much like a screening for diabetes or certain cancers, a baseline eye exam at 40 is a reminder to adults as they age to be aware of their eye health. A baseline screening can help identify signs of eye disease at an early stage when many treatments can have the greatest impact on preserving vision.

Some people shouldn’t wait until they are 40 to have a comprehensive eye exam. If you have an eye disease or if you have a risk factor for developing one, such as diabetes, high blood pressure or a family history of eye disease, you should see an ophthalmologist (Eye M.D.) even if you are younger than 40.

Upon examining your eyes, your Eye M.D. can tell you how often you should undergo an eye exam. As you age, it’s especially important that you have your eyes checked regularly because your risk for eye disease increases. If you are 65 or older, make sure you have your eyes checked every year or two for signs of age-related eye diseases such as cataracts, age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma.

Your Eye M.D. may suggest additional testing to further examine your eye using specialized imaging techniques such as OCT, topography or fundus photos. These tests can be crucial in diagnosing a disease in its early stages and allow your doctor to detect abnormalities in the back of the eye, on the eye’s surface or inside the eye.

Each part of the comprehensive eye exam provides important information about the health of your eyes. Make sure that you are getting a complete examination as part of your commitment to your overall health.

What Should Be Checked in an Eye Exam?

A comprehensive eye exam is relatively simple and comfortable and shouldn’t take more than 45 to 90 minutes. The exam should include checks on the following:

Your medical history
First, your doctor* will ask you for an assessment of your vision and your overall health. Your family’s medical history, whether you wear corrective lenses or whether you are on any medication will also be of interest to your Eye M.D.
Your visual acuity
This is the part of an eye exam people are probably most familiar with. Your Eye M.D. will ask you to read a standardized eye chart to determine how well you see at various distances. The test is performed on one eye at a time by covering the eye not being tested.
Your pupils
Your doctor may evaluate how your pupils respond to light by shining a bright beam of light through your pupils. Common pupillary reaction to this stimulus is to constrict (become smaller). If your pupils respond by dilating (widening) or there is a lack of response either way, this may indicate an underlying problem.
Your side vision
Loss of side vision is a symptom of glaucoma. Because you may lose side vision without knowing it, this test can identify eye problems that you aren’t even aware of.
Your eye movement
This test, called ocular motility, evaluates the movement of your eyes. Your Eye M.D. will want to ensure proper eye alignment and ocular muscle function. Common tests measure the eyes and their ability to move quickly in all directions and slowly track objects.
Your prescription for corrective lenses
You will be seated and asked to view an eye chart through a device called a phoroptor, which contains different lenses. The phoroptor can help determine the best eyeglass or contact lens prescription to correct any refractive error you may have, such as myopia.
Your eye pressure
This test, called tonometry, measures the pressure within your eye (intraocular eye pressure, or IOP). Elevated IOP is a sign of glaucoma. The test may involve a quick puff of air onto the eye, or gently applying a pressure-sensitive tip near or against your eye. Your Eye M.D. may use numbing drops for this test for your comfort.
The front part of your eye
A type of microscope called a slit lamp is used to illuminate the front part of the eye, including the eyelids, cornea, iris and lens. This can reveal whether you are developing cataracts or have any scars or scratches on your cornea.
Your retina and optic nerve
Your Eye M.D. will put drops in your eye to dilate, or widen, your eye. This will allow him or her to thoroughly examine your retina and optic nerve, located at the back of your eye, for signs of damage from disease. Your eyes might be temporarily sensitive to light for a few hours after they are dilated.

*Eye M.D. content courtesy of eyeSmart (http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/living/eye-exams-101.cfm).


Comprehensive Eye Care FAQ

What is the most common eye condition?
The most common eye condition is refractive error. This is the need to correct the vision of the eye with glasses or contacts. The top three most common are: myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.
What kinds of medical problems can be found during a annual eye exam?
Eye and medical problems that can be found in an annual eye exam include: Cataracts, Diabetes, Glaucoma, High blood pressure, and Macular degeneration.
How long does an eye exam usually take?
On average, an exam exam usually takes between 30 minutes and an hour.
My eyes have always been healthy, should I still get tested?
Half of cases that cause blindness are preventable. The eye exams allow the doctor to see any warning signs or cause for concern. Having an eye exam with healthy eyes will help catch a preventable disease before it causes too much damage.

Think you may have one of these conditions?

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