It can be confusing to understand the difference between a routine eye exam and a medical eye exam. At Frame & Focus Eye Care in Richmond, Texas, Sarah Zaver, OD, FAAO, and Angela Chu, OD, offer medical eye exams for patients of all ages with health conditions or eye conditions that affect overall health and vision. Beyond correcting your vision, a medical eye exam takes an overall approach to diagnosing and treating health-related eye conditions. If you need to schedule a medical eye exam, call the expert team at (832) 930-7797 or use the online booking feature.

Medical Eye Exam Q & A

What is a medical eye exam?

A medical eye exam acts as a window to your overall health and wellness. If you have health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or certain types of cancer, these diseases can affect your eye health as well as your vision. During a medical eye exam, your optometrist looks for conditions that cannot be corrected with prescription glasses or contacts, but rather medical issues that could lead to blindness, such as:

  • Glaucoma
  • Detached retinas
  • Corneal dystrophy
  • Macular degeneration
  • Cataracts
  • Diabetic retinopathy

Detecting these medical conditions early, before they lead to permanent vision loss, often increases your chances of slowing the progression of disease and increases viable treatment options. During a medical eye exam, your doctor also evaluates your vision and updates your glasses or contacts prescriptions if necessary.

What can I expect during a medical eye exam?

During a medical eye exam, your doctor may perform a combination of routine vision tests as well as more comprehensive tests to evaluate the internal structures of your eyes. Routine vision tests often include:

  • Visual acuity test
  • Color blindness test
  • Cover test
  • Eye movement test
  • Depth perception test
  • Refractive tests
  • Retinoscopy
  • Visual field test

In addition to performing these routine tests to evaluate your vision, your optometrist may perform any of the following, depending on your pre-existing medical issues:

  • Slit-lamp exam to examine your iris, lens, and eye fluid (tear film)
  • Retinal exam to evaluate the back of your eye
  • Glaucoma screening (tonometry) to measure eye pressure
  • Pupillary response test to determine how your pupils respond to light

Each of these medical tests can provide insight into how well the interior areas of your eyes function, including your retinas and optic nerves.

What are the treatment options for medical eye health problems?

Your treatment depends on the type of eye health condition you have. Oftentimes, when your doctor detects the early signs of glaucoma or macular degeneration, you can begin treatment with prescription medications or eye drops. In some cases, your doctor takes the approach of monitoring your condition to see how it develops so they can recommend effective treatments.

You may need to have medical eye exams more frequently than just once a year if you do have a condition or area that needs to be more closely monitored. Today’s advanced technology and laser procedures can correct many types of eye conditions to prevent or slow down any potential vision loss.

To schedule a medical eye exam, call Frame & Focus Eye Care or book online.