High Blood Pressure? Have Your Eyes Checked!

If you have high blood pressure or are at risk for high blood pressure, you should have a comprehensive eye examination to check for ocular damage. The following article discusses the risks of high blood pressure poses for overall eye health and vision. OptiExpress offers comprehensive eye care services and products to the Cape Coral and Fort Myers communities.

High blood pressure has a significant impact on eye health – if your doctor has diagnosed you with high blood pressure, he or she may want to make sure your condition has not affected your vision. A series of eye examinations will be conducted to determine whether or not the blood vessels behind the eyes have been compromised.

Conversely, patients who have not had a formal diagnosis of high blood pressure by their GP may learn of the potentially serious condition during a routine eye exam. High blood pressure often leads to a clear change in the integrity of the small blood vessels behind the eyes – they may burst, or become thickened, or shrink. These signals may also be present in the blood vessels in other organs, such as the kidneys. This is why regular eye examinations are such an important factor in our comprehensive physical health.

How Eye Examinations Are Performed

When your optometrist checks your eyes, you will undergo a procedure to facilitate pupil dilation. This is achieved through the use of special eye drops – either phenylephrine or cyclopentolate. The reaction of the pupil allows the doctor to view the internal portion of the eye; when the pupil is dilated, it does not shrink when a light is shone into the eye. The drops typically take approximately 30 minutes to fully activate.

Using the light from a tool known as an ophthalmoscope, the doctor examines the condition of the blood vessels inside the eye, which the tool magnifies. Although the eye drops and the extended exposure of the eye to the light of the ophthalmoscope may cause some discomfort, the lingering effects of the procedure are brief, and the eyes return to normal after a few hours.

How to Prepare for an Eye Exam

Before your eye examination, you should communicate with your eye doctor if you experience any of the following:

  • Allergies to medications
  • Medical conditions that require that you take medications/supplements
  • Currently have glaucoma
  • Have a family history of glaucoma

You should arrange to have someone drive you back to your home, as your vision may not become clear for several hours after the administration of the eye drops. Additionally, the drops can make the eyes light sensitive, so have a pair of sunglasses to minimize discomfort.

OptiExpress: South Florida’s Premier Eye Care Center

For 20 years, OptiExpress has helped give South Florida communities the tools and resources to maximize their eye health. Founder Dr. J. Michael Witherington has been awarded Cape Coral’s “Best Optometrist” recognition three consecutive times, receiving glowing testimonials and reviews from his diverse patient base. OptiExpress is proud to offer not only compassionate eye care, but also affordable corrective lens and eye exam packages, a one-hour lab, and an enormous selection of designer eyewear.

For more information about OptiExpress locations in Cape Coral and Fort Myers or to schedule an appointment, please visit our contact page.

Keeping Your Eyes in Check – Why Eye Health is Important

Although our vision is essential to performing a huge range of tasks, many of us do not actively maintain our eye health by getting regular eye exams. The following article discusses the reasons why having periodic eye exams not only preserves our vision, it helps maintain our comprehensive physical health. OptiExpress is Cape Coral’s premier eye care resource, providing comprehensive eye health services to diverse South Florida patients.

We view visiting the dentist or getting regular physicals as being normal parts of maintaining our health, but unless we have troubles with our vision, we don’t necessarily visit the eye doctor. However, even if you’ve never had to wear corrective lenses, yearly eye exams are nonetheless essential for ensuring your vision stays healthy and clear, and to check for additional health concerns that may be otherwise missed.

Your Eyes: Windows to Your Health

Diseases of the eyes are surprisingly common and many are symptomless. Early detection is key to successful treatment. Additionally, dilated eye exams allow your doctor to detect early signs of diabetes and high blood pressure.

Additional tests may include checks for visual acuity and depth perception, the alignment of the eyes, and eye movement. These tests can uncover the following eye conditions that can cause loss of vision:

  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Macular degeneration

In the United States, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy are the leading causes of vision loss and blindness, and more than 60 million American adults are at high risk for vision deterioration, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Have Your Children’s Eyes Checked

Getting your child’s eyes tested, regardless of whether they have noticeable signs of vision impairment, is essential for his/her healthy optical development. Unfortunately, more than 85 percent of preschool-aged children do not get eye exams, and visual problems that go undetected can harm a child’s ability to succeed in school. A thorough eye exam can alert you to existing and potential vision problems.

Have your child’s vision checked yearly since children’s eyes develop very quickly, and problems can arise very suddenly. A child’s first eye exam should be between the ages of 3 and 5 years.

When to See Your Eye Doctor

In addition to having your vision tested yearly, visit an eye doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Vision loss or blurriness
  • Persistent eye redness
  • Eye pain
  • Double vision
  • Light flashes

If you have diabetes or have a family history of glaucoma, you should schedule a dilated eye test every two years.

Keeping your eyes healthy can maintain and even significantly improve your quality of life. If you are in the Cape Coral or Fort Myers communities and are concerned about your vision, please don’t hesitate to visit one of OptiExpress’s family-friendly eye care centers. Founded by Dr. J. Michael Witherington, winner of Cape Coral’s “Best Optometrist” award for three consecutive years, OptiExpress offers excellent comprehensive eye exam and corrective lens packages, a one-hour lab, and a huge selection of designer eyeglasses.

To schedule an appointment or find an OptiExpress location near you, please visit our contact page.

What’s an Eye Exam? 4 Eye Exam Tests

If it’s been a while since your last eye exam, you may not be familiar with the basic tests that are typically involved. The following article discusses four of the tests you can expect when having your vision checked and your eye health examined. OptiExpress is the leading optometry resource in Cape Coral and Fort Myers, helping patients maintain their vision and overall eye health.

The health of your vision is critical to performing most of your daily tasks, from driving, to reading, to completing household chores. When your eyesight is compromised, either due to refractive error, disease, or trauma, your whole lifestyle is affected, and you may not be able to execute essential tasks safely. This is why maintaining eye health is critically important.

Eye exams not only test for visual acuity, but they also provide important insight into your overall physical health. While basic vision checks the only test for a patient’s ability to see at different distances, eye exams test for a variety of conditions. Here are four of the tests you’ll likely undergo during your next eye exam.

  1. Test for visual acuity. This is the most basic test; it measures your ability to see distances. This test is simple – you read a chart at a distance, covering one eye at a time to measure the distance vision strength of each. This is the test that tells you whether you have 20/20 vision, are nearsighted (myopic), or farsighted (hyperopic).

  2. Retinoscopy This exam is what most people envision when they think of eye exams. A retinoscopy is performed using a device called a phoropter, which is a large instrument that contains a variety of lenses of different refractive indexes. The patient looks through these different lenses to see which corrects their vision most effectively. This allows the optometrist to determine your lens prescription. This is also known as a refraction test.

  3. Keratometry test. The keratometry test measures the curve of the cornea. Corneal curvature might indicate the presence of astigmatism, which is a condition that causes blurred vision regardless of distance.

  4. Peripheral vision check. Peripheral, or side vision, is our ability to perceive objects that are not within our immediate line of focus. This is checked using visual field tests. These involve either a confrontational visual field exam, a tangent screen exam, or automated perimetry. The confrontational field exam is performed by an optometrist simply moving his/her hand until the hand reaches the limit of the patient’s vision. The tangent screen exam uses a black screen that has a focal point at the center. The patient maintains focus on the point on the screen while the optometrist moves items to the edge of his or her peripheral field. An automated perimetry exam uses a mechanized device that the patient looks into. The examiner flashes lights within the device along with the patient’s peripheral vision, and the patient presses a button whenever he/she perceives a light. Identifying the limits of a patient’s visual field indicates the potential for glaucoma, retinal detachment, or possible brain tumor.

These examinations offer a holistic view of a patient’s ocular health, though there are additional exams that may be appropriate, depending upon the results of the tests above. Having regular eye exams is a part of maintaining not only an optimal vision but also overall physical health.

OptiExpress: Fort Myers and Cape Coral’s Leading Eye Care Center

For 20 years, OptiExpress has provided comprehensive eye care services to the Cape Coral and Fort Myers communities. Founder Dr. J. Michael Witherington is Cape Coral’s premier optometrist, having won the “Best Optometrist in Cape Coral” recognition three consecutive years. OptiExpress is a family-friendly eye care facility, featuring excellent corrective lens and eye exam deals, a one-hour lab, and a wide selection of designer frames.

For OptiExpress locations or to schedule an appointment, please visit our contact page.

What Does a Basic Eye Exam Involve? What to Expect During an Eye Health and Vision Test

Having regular eye exams is critical to maintaining good overall health. Yet many people neglect this essential health service unless they’re experiencing specific problems with their vision. The following article discusses why you should have regular eye exams, and what they involve. OptiExpress offers comprehensive eye care services, helping the Cape Coral and Fort Myers communities keep their vision strong and maintain their healthy eyes.

How often should we have eye exams?

Eye exams are much-overlooked parts of maintaining our health and should be undertaken periodically throughout our lives. Not only should we have our eyes checked if we notice any changes in the quality of our vision, but we should also have eye exams as a part of our comprehensive medical assessments. In addition to having vision screenings in childhood – children’s eyes develop and grow very quickly – we should have them regularly throughout our adolescence and adulthood. Moreover, adults who may be at risk for the following conditions should have eye exams regularly.

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Inherited eye conditions

Your eye doctor will give you a follow-up schedule for future eye exams based upon his/her assessment. As you grow older, your eye disease risk increases, so it is especially important to adhere to your eye doctor’s recommendations. Seniors should have their eyes checked yearly, even if they do not require prescription lenses, to screen for cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration, among other conditions.

How do eye doctors conduct eye exams?

When you have an eye exam, your eye doctor will check the following:

  • Medical history. Your overall medical history is a significant determiner of your eye health. Based on your health and your family’s medical history, your doctor can gain valuable insight into how your eyes will age and what conditions you could be at-risk for.

  • Visual sharpness. The visual acuity portion is what people most associate with eye exams – it tests whether the patient has 20/20 vision. This checks the patient’s distance vision and utilizes an eye chart, where the patient covers one eye and reads letters of varying sizes.

  • Need for corrective lenses. The eye chart test will also be conducted using what’s called a phoropter. This is an instrument that holds corrective lenses of different strengths; the patient views a chart through a combination of lenses and tells the optometrist which lenses yield the sharpest results.

  • Pupil responsiveness. Healthy pupils shrink when exposed to direct light, as when a flashlight is shone at them. The optometrist shines a light into the pupils to check for shrinkage, as any other response indicates a potential concern.

  • Peripheral vision. When peripheral – side – vision begins to deteriorate, this could be a sign of glaucoma. This is a particularly important test because many patients experience a deficiency of peripheral vision without recognizing it.

  • Movement of the eye. This tests the health and functionality of the muscles of the eye, as well as eye alignment. This is known as an ocular motility test.

  • Elevated eye pressure. Elevated eye fluid pressure is one of the symptoms of glaucoma; your eye doctor will conduct an eye pressure test either using a tonometer, which applies light pressure to the eye and measures the force with which the eye resists.

  • Cataracts. Your eye doctor checks for cataracts and scratches or scars on the cornea.

  • The health of the optic nerve. The condition of the retina and optic nerve is checked with the application of pupil dilating eye drops. This allows your eye doctor to thoroughly examine the retina for any indication of infection-related damage.

While the above examinations aren’t the only tests that might be recommended, they are essential to making an accurate determination of your eye health and visual acuity. These tests can help not only detect problems with the eyes, but they can also indicate other health conditions that should be addressed quickly.

OptiExpress: Ft. Myers and Cape Coral’s Leading Optometry Center

OptiExpress founder Dr. J. Michael Witherington is a respected physician and one of Cape Coral’s top-ranked optometrists. Since 1999, OptiExpress has helped diverse communities in South Florida maintain their vision and ocular health. With friendly, Florida-licensed clinicians, a one-hour lab, and a wide selection of designer frames, OptiExpress is a one-stop-shop for all of your eye care essentials.

OptiExpress eye centers are located in Ft. Myers and Cape Coral, Florida. To schedule an appointment for an eye exam, please visit our contact page.