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INTRODUCTION

An eye exam consists of various tests to check the eyes whether it has some problems like vision issues or disease. Different instruments like slit lamps or lenses are required during the eye examination. Each test then gives out a report about the status of your eyes after going through those reports doctors give you appropriate treatment. An eye exam is done to check the problem in its initial stage so that it is easily treated in that period. People should go for regular eye checkups especially the ones who wear glasses or lenses so that your doctor knows what changes your eye needs and then provide you with that.

WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR

Several factors determine whether you have a serious problem and should see a doctor or it can be treated at home by you:

INFANTS:  If a newborn baby is having any kind of eye problems like red-eye, misaligned eye, or any other kind of problem it is strictly advised to see a doctor. Sometimes we think that the problem is not big enough but we do not know about the seriousness and harm it can cause to our eyes. 

CHILDREN/TEENAGERS:  make sure to get an eye examination of your child if your family has some history with the eye problems or your child complains you about any problem. In this stage, the highest rate of eye problems is found. Consult a doctor and him/her about the schedule of the eye exam that your child needs. This is the period when kids often spend their time on screens with ultraviolet rays affecting the eyes or they spend their time in books which requires focus and sometimes causes strain to our eyes.

ADULTS: if you have no symptoms it means you have a healthy eye but still it is advised to get an eye checkup once in a while like in 1 or 2 years. Make sure you get a routine checkup if you are wearing glasses or lenses or if your family has some history with any eye disease. If you are having any problem especially itching or redness frequently it is advised to see a doctor before the case gets worse.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF EYE EXAMS

  • VISUAL ACUITY TEST – in this a chart including some letters is placed in front of you at some distance. You are asked to read them one by one. The size of the letter gradually decreases as you go down. When you face trouble while reading then the doctor gives you a power lens and keeps changing it until and unless you can read it all.
  • SLIT LAMP EXAMINATION – in this the doctor passes some light through your cornea, iris, eyelids, and lens. It is to examine the problem of image forms at the retina. The doctor uses a torch-like instrument which helps them to look deeper in the eye. This examination gives an idea of what kind of lens you might need and you will be most comfortable in it. 
  • COLOR VISION TESTING – the doctor shows you several multicolored dots if you have no color deficiency you will be able to distinguish between the colors if not then the doctor will give you the required lenses. 
  • VISUAL FIELD TEST – it checks the full extent of what you can see without moving your eyes. It checks the distance till which your eyes can focus. The doctor might ask you to cover one eye and then the other to find out that the problem lies in which eye. The doctor will keep changing the position of the image to get a record of the status of your eyes.

Several other examinations are depending upon the problem you have. But these are some exam that helps the doctor to recognize your eye problem.

FREE EYE EXAMS

Many people due to several reasons are not able to get their eyes to check at the right time. Therefore several programs help them to get it done by providing free checkups, eyeglasses, and other services:

  • INFANTS: The American Optometric Association helps infants between the ages of 6 months to 1 year with free eye examinations to check whether eyes are growing and developing properly with age.
  • CHILDREN:  Sight for Students and Vision to Learn helps the school-age students with free eye exams and glasses especially the one who is economically unstable or disadvantaged.
  • ADULTS:  Eye Care America is an association that helps adults with a free eye examination. They do so because the adults have a greater risk to damage their iris or glaucoma by continuously working to raise their family. The adults can pass their disease to the babies while reproducing. 
  • SENIORS: people age 65 or more receive free eye exams with EyeCare America program. They provide them with necessary checkups so that they do not lose their eyesight at this stage.

FREE EYEGLASSES

An association named New Eyes does the social service to provide people with free eyeglasses especially to the ones who are unable to afford them i.e. economically disadvantaged people. 

Some national programs provide free eye exams and glasses:

  1. COMMISSION FOR THE BLIND: this organization is there in several states which provide free eye checkups.
  2. LIONS CLUB: This club provides financial assistance for your eye examinations and glasses. It is present in most of the districts and service varies from club to club.
  3. ONE SIGHT PROGRAM: it provides eye care to individuals who have coupons from local agencies like the American Red Cross, United Club, or Boys Club.

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