Eye exams are essential to staying up-to-date on the health of your eyes and an annual refraction is vital to determine your best potential vision. A refraction, also called a vision test, is routinely given during an eye examination, and is designed to tell your doctor if you are in need of prescription lenses. A refraction will determine the presence of ametropia, an error in the focusing of light rays as they pass through the cornea and retina of the eye. This results in reduced visual acuity. Some refractive errors include farsightedness, nearsightedness and astigmatism. The refraction test will determine what corrective lenses are needed for you to achieve your optimum vision. Furthermore, the refraction will guide the eye care professional when determining if there is an ocular disease present.
The American Optometric Association states, “Periodic eye and vision examinations are an important part of preventive health care. Many eye and vision problems have no obvious signs or symptoms. As a result, individuals are often unaware that problems exist. Early diagnosis and treatment of eye and vision problems are important for maintaining good vision and eye health, and when possible, preventing vision loss.”
One may think that having an annual dilated exam would be sufficient when caring for our eyes. However, checking your vision with and without corrective lenses on a yearly basis will help your doctor detect any changes present in your ocular health. When variation occurs, it is up to the physician to determine whether this is due to a refractive change or if there is another factor attributing to vision decline.
“We encourage all of our patients to have an annual eye exam, complete with a refraction,” said Dr. E. Trevor Elmquist of Elmquist Eye Group. “This test not only helps us determine if our patients are in need of corrective lenses, but it also acts as an important tool that enables our patients to track the overall health of their eyes.”
Without a consistent refraction, it becomes increasingly difficult for the doctor to follow your vision changes. Noticing slight changes in your vision can be a difficult task. Therefore, having an annual refraction is the most accurate way to track your best corrected vision. This also provides you with a record of your most current glasses prescription, which is especially important if you happen to lose or break your current pair.
If you have concerns about your vision, it is important to speak to a doctor to discuss treatment options. Dr. E. Trevor Elmquist, Dr. Kate Wagner, Dr. Nina Burt, and Dr. Sarah Eccles-Brown of Elmquist Eye Group are available to answer your questions. With over 20 years of service to the Southwest Florida community, Elmquist Eye Group offers experienced doctors that are dedicated to patient care. Elmquist Eye Group’s Cape Coral office is located at 2336 Surfside Blvd., Suite 121, and additional offices are located in Fort Myers and at Shell Point. For more information, visit www.Elmquist.com, call 239-936-2020 or stop by an Optical Boutique location in Cape Coral or Fort Myers.