Calgary is one of the most beautiful cities in Canada, boasting impressive mountainous backdrops and renowned festivals like the Calgary Stampede. However, to be able to fully experience the visual wonders that Calgary offers, good eyesight is essential. According to one study, 80 per cent of blindness and serious visual loss is avoidable through preventative treatment. It is recommended that people have an eye exam performed once per year, which is made easy by inexpensive vision tests
available in Calgary and across Canada
Eye exams assess more than a patient's ability to read a letter chart; they are critical in detecting serious diseases in the eyes. Often, grave medical conditions including diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure display symptoms in the eyes. Vision loss doesn't need to be an accepted consequence of aging and having your eyes tested regularly can help to identify problems early.
What to Expect at an Eye Exam
During an eye exam
an eye doctor, called an optometrist, will examine your eye's exterior, the lid area around the eye and evaluate your optic nerve, retina and cornea. To evaluate your eyesight during a comprehensive eye exam, the optometrist will conduct a series of tests such as:
A visual acuity and screening refraction exam – used to test your ocular muscle strength, peripheral vision and colour vision.
Glaucoma screening – this test measures your corneal thickness and eye pressure to diagnose glaucoma, a condition that damages the optic nerve and can lead to vision loss and eventually blindness.
Corneal and retinal topography – these are special computerized tests used to map the curvature of the cornea or surface of the retina to show distortions of the eye and conditions such as astigmatism.
Fluorescein angiogram – an eye test to evaluate the blood circulation in the retina and help diagnose diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachment and macular degeneration.
Other routine tests may also be performed during an eye exam. Eye diseases are generally progressive and can lead to vision loss, so it is best to catch them as early as possible. The optometrist will also be able to detect rare and serious abnormalities that can occur, such as brain or eye tumours that may cause unusual swelling in the optic nerve.
Retinal exams require the optometrist to get a complete view of the back of the eye and usually involve dilation of the pupils using drops. If you are having this type of exam, arrange to have someone drive you to the appointment, as dilation will temporarily blur vision. Dilated exams are often optional, but they are usually recommended as part of a comprehensive eye exam.
Obtain Better Vision
Improved vision is the most immediate benefit of an eye exam. Those with common visual problems like farsightedness, nearsightedness and astigmatism can receive proper care through regular eye checkups at clinics in Calgary and the surrounding area
. Many of these conditions can be easily corrected with proper prescription glasses or contact lenses.
Usually there are no symptoms in the early stages of eye disease, meaning that if you wait to see an optometrist until you have visual difficulties, loss of vision may be irreversible. Scheduling regular eye exams will help maintain your vision and overall health.