Vision Screening vs. Comprehensive Eye Exams

This Article Was Written By Dr. Barbara Evans, A Board-Certified Ophthalmologist In Des Moines

If it’s been a while since you’ve been to the eye doctor, you may not know what to expect when you come in for an appointment. For example, did you know that there’s a big difference between a vision screening and comprehensive eye exams? If you’re not sure what the differences are between these two examinations, this article will explain everything you need to know. Dr. Barb Evans in Des Moines, IA is here to serve all of your eye health needs, from eye exams to glasses and contacts to surgical procedures for correcting your vision.

What is a Vision Screening?

Simply put, a vision screening is a preliminary examination of your eyes that can detect vision problems. A vision screening can also detect potential vision problems, but it can’t tell you exactly what is wrong. Vision screenings are helpful as a way to determine whether you should immediately see Dr. Barb Evans (board-certified ophthalmologists located in Des Moines, Iowa) for a full comprehensive eye exam.

What are Comprehensive Eye Exams?

Comprehensive eye exams are performed by ophthalmologists or optometrists and generally take longer to complete than a simple vision screening. There are many steps involved in a comprehensive eye exam, including questionnaires about your medical and vision history, an evaluation of your eye health, and various vision tests that can determine exactly what’s causing your eye problems.

Here are the components of a comprehensive eye exam broken down into more detail:

  • Your Health and Vision History: This step in the eye exam goes over your overall health, medications you’re taking, and your risk factors for eye problems (high blood pressure, sun exposure, diabetes, and smoking). We also cover recent changes in your vision, your family history of eye diseases, eye treatments, or surgeries you’ve undergone in the past, and when you had your last eye exam.
  • Your Eye Health Evaluation: One of our board-certified ophthalmologists will examine your eyes externally, paying close attention to the whites of your eyes, irises, pupils, eyelids, and eyelashes. In the next step of an eye health evaluation, special drops are used to dilate your eyes, allowing Dr. Barb Evans in Des Moines Iowa to observe the internal health of your eyes. Finally, a fluid pressure test is administered to check for signs of glaucoma.
  • Visual Acuity Testing: Also known as refraction, this is the test that helps determine your glasses or contact lens prescription. Using a phoropter, one of our board-certified ophthalmologists will test a series of different lenses to determine your best prescription.
  • Visual Field Testing: This test determines your peripheral (or side) vision and can either be done manually or with a computerized system.

Call Dr. Barb Evans at (515) 225-2566

Where vision screening is a relatively fast process that’s effective for detecting vision problems, only comprehensive eye exams can diagnose the specific cause of your eye issue. Give Dr. Barb in Des Moines a call today at (515) 225-2566 to schedule an appointment for your eye exam!

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Schedule Appointment With Barbara E. Evans, M.D.

Barbara E. Evans, M.D. has been an ophthalmologist for 29+ years. She provides comprehensive eye care for your entire family. From performing eye exams for routine vision care as well as ocular medical conditions, Barbara E. Evans is committed to exceeding all of your expectations! Please call 515-225-2566 to request an appointment with Dr. Evans.