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Eye Exams at Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center-Valparaiso & Knox, IN

By Scott Buck, M.D.

About Eye Exams
The eye doctors at Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center strongly recommend that all patients have eye exams on a regular basis. We provide routine eye exams for eye health and vision correction for eyeglasses and contact lens fitting, cataract eye exams, eye exams for retina problems including diabetic retinopathy and age related macular degeneration (AMD), eye exams and screening for glaucoma and LASIK eye exams. Our Ophthalmologists and Optometrists provide the full range and scope of comprehensive eye care services are pleased to offer these types of eye examinations in order to help patients preserve and maintain good eye health and vision.

How Often Should I Have My Eyes Examined?

The frequency of your eye examinations really depends on a number of factors including your age, whether your family has a history of eye problems and whether you have been diagnosed with or treated for any eye conditions or diseases in the past. This will determine how often the Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center eye doctors suggest that you schedule your visits as well as what type of examination is necessary.

What Will Happen At My Eye Examination?

If you are scheduling a general eye examination at Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center, it will consist of complete testing of your vision in order to be certain that are seeing as clearly as you should, as well as a comprehensive medical evaluation of the health of your eyes. Each patient visiting us for a complete eye exam will have the necessary testing to ensure that their eye health and vision are at their best.

Your Health and Eye History

A complete history will be taken from you regarding your current general health, any previous eye problems or conditions that you have experienced and a review of any problems that you might be experiencing with your vision or your eyes. This will be important information to provide to the technician or eye doctor during your screening process.  If you have any chronic health problems, even if they are currently stable it is important that you share this information with us as well.  

Please be sure to tell the technician or eye doctor about any medications you are taking for these medical conditions, including over the counter medications, eye drops or even dietary supplements that you may have been using. They are all important and sometimes while each one by itself may not seem all that important, together they may cause side effects or eye problems that you may not be aware of.

Your family history will be reviewed with you as well. Please tell us about any health problems that run in your family such as diabetes and high blood pressure, as well as any eye problems that your family members may have experienced such as glaucoma, cataracts or macular degeneration as they can tend to run in families.

The Eye Examination

Your eye examination at Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center will begin with a technician measuring your vision, or visual acuity-both with your current eyeglasses or contact lenses, and without any vision correction. Chances are that if you wear eyeglasses or contact lenses, some of the letters on the “Big E” eye chart will be blurry without them. The technician will ask you to read a chart projected across the examination room that consists of numbers and letters that get progressively smaller and more difficult to read as you move down the chart. This test, called “Snellin Acuity” or just “Visual Acuity” is an important first step to understanding how well you see.

Next, the movement of your eyes, or “Ocular Motility” will be evaluated in order to understand how well the eye muscles function together and how effectively they move your eyes into the different positions of gaze.  

By shining a fairly bright light in your eyes, the reaction of your pupils to the light will be evaluated. By shinning the light into your eyes in different directions, the eye doctors can learn a great deal about how well your Optic Nerve is functioning.

You will then be asked to sit comfortably behind a specialized instrument called a Slit Lamp Biomicroscope. This instrument provides the eye doctor with both high magnification and special illumination. Using this instrument it is possible for your Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center Ophthalmologist or Optometrist to examine the condition of your eyelids, eye lashes, eyelid margins and tear film. The Slit Lamp will also be used to carefully examine the sclera or white of your eye and the cornea or clear dome shaped lens on the outside of your eye. By focusing the slit lamp through the pupil or dark center of the iris-the colored part of the eye-your doctor will be able to examine the health of the crystalline lens, which is where cataracts form. 

In order to check for one of the signs of Glaucoma, 1-2 eye drops may be placed in your eyes so that the pressure, called Intraocular Pressure (IOP) can be measured while you are behind the Slit Lamp, or with other types of handheld instruments.  This is an important diagnostic test for Glaucoma.  

Your eye doctor will then check your refraction in order to determine the most accurate eyeglass or contact lens prescription necessary to fully correct your vision. This entails having you sit behind an instrument called a Phoroptor, so that the eye doctor can present a number of lens combinations to see which corrects your vision most precisely. For those patients who wear eyeglasses or contact lenses, you have probably experienced the “which is better” test called refraction.   If you require vision correction the eye doctor will provide you with a copy of your prescription so that you can take it to the Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center Optical Department where our Opticians can help you select the best fitting and fashionable frame and the most appropriate type of lenses for your work, hobbies or daily activities.

If your doctor finds it necessary to view the “back of the eye” he will dilate you. At this time, additional eye drops will be placed in your eyes in order to dilate or widen your pupils. Pupil dilation is important so that the eye doctor can examine the health of the structures in the back of your eye including the retina and its blood vessels and the optic nerve. After the dilation drops are placed in your eyes, it will usually take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes for the eye drops to fully work and dilate your pupil.  

Please be patient. You will be asked to relax in one of our comfortable waiting areas while the eye drops work. The thorough examination of the health of the retina and optic nerve through a dilated pupil is not uncomfortable, however the fully widened pupil may make you somewhat sensitive to light and may also blur your vision, especially at near, for a few hours after your eye examination.  If you have not had a dilated exam in the past, it may be a good idea to have a driver on your exam day.  It is important to bring a good pair of sunglasses with you in order to lessen your light sensitivity.

Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center is conveniently located for patients wishing to schedule an eye exam in northern Indiana from La Porte, Mishawaka, South Bend, Michigan City, Crown Point, Merrillville, Chesterton, South Haven, Westville, Hebron, Lowell, Valparaiso and Walkerton as well as Chicago, Illinois suburban areas of Frankfurt, Calumet City, Monee and Crete. To schedule an appointment for an eye examination, please call us at 219-464-8223.

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Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center, P.C.
502 Marquette Street
Valparaiso, Indiana 46383
219-464-8223

Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center, P.C.
1001 S. Edgewood Drive, #5
Knox, Indiana 46534
574-772-2012

©2017 Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center
Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center in Valparaiso and Knox, IN provides eye exams for adults & children,
eye surgery such as LASIK, cataract surgery & lens implants and eyelid surgery, diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma,
age related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy and dry eye, as well as eye exams for cataracts, eyeglasses and contact lenses.