Regular eye exams are important because they allow your eye doctor to track changes to your eye health over time and monitor any vision changes you are experiencing. This can help identify hypertension, diabetes, and other serious conditions. At Southside Medical Center in Atlanta, GA, we get a lot of questions about eye examinations, including what can be expected afterward. Here’s what you need to know.
Can You Drive After an Eye Exam?
Yes, you can drive after a regular eye exam. However, you should only drive if you feel safe to drive. If your pupils are dilated during your eye exam, you should try to get a ride home or back to work. If you can’t get a ride and your pupils will be dilated during your eye exam, you should bring very dark sunglasses to reduce the glare you experience.
Do You Need To Get Your Pupils Dilated During Your Eye Exam?
If you can’t get a ride after your eye exam and you’re concerned about your ability to drive safely with dilated pupils, let us know when you schedule your appointment. Depending on your unique situation, you may not need to have your pupils dilated during your eye exam. Some factors that are taken into account when determining if pupil dilation is required include:
- Your age
- Your ethnic background
- Your eye health
- Your overall health
As you age, your risk of developing eye diseases increases significantly. Therefore, it is likely that your pupils should be dilated during your exam if you are over the age of 59. If you are of Hispanic or African descent, you should have your pupils dilated during an eye exam every year or two starting at 40 years old.
How Often Should You Get Eye Exams?
How often you should get eye exams depends on several factors, including your age, family medical history, and personal medical history. If you’re not experiencing any eye problems, you should get an eye exam twice per decade between the ages of 20 and 39. If you are between the ages of 40 and 54 and free from eye problems, eye exams are advisable every two to four years.
You should have an optometrist examine your eyes every one to three years if you are between 55 and 64 years old and not experiencing anything wrong with your eyes. Finally, people who are over the age of 64 and not suffering from poor vision or eye health should have an eye examination every year or two.
Who Should Get an Eye Exam More Often?
You should have your eyes examined more often than the average person if you wear corrective lenses, like contact lenses or prescription eyeglasses. You also should come in more regularly for an eye exam if an immediate family member, like your mother or grandmother, has a history of eye disease. Moreover, more frequent eye exams are required if you suffer from diabetes or another condition that increases the risk of eye disease.
What Should I Expect During My Eye Exam?
What you can expect during your eye exam depends on several factors, including what type of eye exam you are getting. If you are getting a comprehensive eye exam, you can expect us to check your eyes for signs of cataracts, glaucoma, and other eye diseases. We will also evaluate your vision. You will be asked to read off an eye chart so we can evaluate how sharp your vision is up close and far away.
Additionally, we will evaluate your peripheral vision and color perception. Moreover, you can expect your 3D vision to be tested. You will also be tested for glaucoma during a comprehensive eye exam. Furthermore, your eye muscles and pupils will be observed with the use of a small light being shone into your eye.
What Are the Most Common Eye Problems That Occur With Advanced Age?
Keratoconjunctivitis sicca, sometimes referred to as dry eyes, is a condition that occurs when your tear glands produce poor-quality tears or an inadequate volume of tears. Some of the most common symptoms associated with this condition include uncomfortable itching and painful burning. In severe cases, vision loss can occur.
Healthy eyes have clear lenses, much like a camera. The older you get, the more likely it is that you will develop cloudy areas in your eye lenses called cataracts. This cloudiness prevents some of the light that enters your eyes from reaching your retinas, leading to blurry vision. One reason it is so important to have your eyes examined regularly is that it allows for cataracts to be detected early.
Often, cataracts don’t cause symptoms, such as eye tearing, redness, or pain. However, if they grow undetected and are not treated, they can eventually impact your vision significantly. In some cases, they can grow so large that surgery is required to remove them and restore vision.
Glaucoma is another common eye disease that you are far more likely to develop as you age. Generally, this condition occurs due to excessive intraocular pressure. If glaucoma goes untreated, there are many symptoms that can occur. For instance, untreated glaucoma can cause permanent vision loss and blindness. It is important to be screened for glaucoma regularly because it can cause these problems without other symptoms.
Diabetes, genetics, ethnicity, and age are significant risk factors for the development of this disease. Additionally, it can be caused by certain medications. However, there are other potential causes of this condition. For instance, chemical injuries and blunt force trauma to the eye can cause the disease. Additionally, glaucoma can be caused by inflammatory eye conditions and blocked blood vessels.
Schedule an Eye Exam Today
You can drive after an eye exam, but you should strongly consider getting a ride home if your pupils will be dilated during your exam. If you haven’t had your eyes examined by an optometrist in the past five years, contact us today at Southside Medical Center in Atlanta, GA to schedule an eye exam.