What Do Doctors Look for in an Annual Eye Exam?

Posted on Monday, July 5th, 2021 by Dr. Binoy Jani

Comprehensive Eye Exams in Fredericksburg & Culpeper, VA

Many patients visit their eye doctor for an examination and, frankly, do not have much of a clue what the doctor is actually looking at. Although it is not necessary to know the full extent of what the doctor looks for — particularly after you have chosen a doctor you can put your trust into — if you have always been curious about the process, the team at Vista Eye Specialists is happy to break it down for you.

Changes in Vision

The quality of your vision changes over time, which is why it is important to check and recheck performance on a regular basis. The doctor will look at your visual acuity for objects near, far and in between, as well as your peripheral vision, to see if you have started developing nearsightedness or farsightedness.

These tests are just as important if you already have prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. Should there be changes since your last appointment, your prescriptions can be adjusted accordingly to keep you seeing well.

Eye Diseases and Afflictions

Your eye doctor will also examine you for all sorts of eye diseases and afflictions. Most people will not recognize the earliest symptoms on their own, which is why it is important to allow a trained professional to look for serious problems like these:

  • Cataracts: thick clouds that form on the lens of the eye and impair vision
  • Glaucoma: mounting pressure in your eyes that, untreated, causes blindness
  • Macular degeneration: an age-related disease that gradually makes your vision blurrier, often to the point of blindness
  • Retinopathy: a disease that specifically affects the retina

While many of these diseases are more common the older you get, plenty of people are diagnosed far earlier than they might expect, which is why regular screening is necessary. Your best bet for treating these afflictions is to catch them early, which is extra incentive to maintain an annual eye exam.

Other Eye Irregularities

Are your eyes properly aligned? Do they “team” (move) together between different visual targets? Is your depth perception off? Do you have an astigmatism?

These are all questions you may not be able to answer on your own, but your eye doctor has quick tests to see if there are any such problems. If there is cause for concern in any of these areas, the doctor may schedule follow-up tests to identify the precise problem and implement a solution.


Are you ready for a thorough eye test? Vista Eye Specialists offers comprehensive eye exams at our Fredericksburg and Culpepper, Virginia offices to make sure your eyes stay in excellent health. You can set up an appointment through our online form.