Differences Between Annual Eye Exams and Medical Eye Exams

August 3rd, 2021

Two Ways of Looking at Your Eyes

It’s National Eye Exam Month, and a great time to book your annual eye exam with one of our eye doctors in the Front Range at ICON Eyecare. Our team includes optometrists, ophthalmologists, and other eye professionals who provide both annual eye exams and medical eye exams along with performing surgery, conducting research, and teaching medical students. Eye exams are your first step to getting the care you need, but what’s the difference between the two types of exams?

The Eyes as Cameras and as the Body’s Visual Sense Organs

There are two important ways to think about your eyes. One is as an optical instrument that takes in light, focuses it, and sends messages to your brain that result in your vision. A camera, basically. The other is as a living part of your body, receiving blood flow with nutrients and vulnerable to disease and damage. A sense organ. With annual eye exams, we can prescribe optical correction using glasses, contacts, LASIK surgery, and other methods. We also perform a screening for medical conditions in your eyes.

Annual Eye Exams are the Keys to Good Vision and the Gateway to Medical Eye Care

Your annual eye exam at ICON Eyecare, with leading eye doctors in the Front Range, ensures that the camera-like function of your eye is adjusted properly, so you can see clearly. Your optometrist or ophthalmologist will give you a prescription for vision correction if you need it and take a careful look at your eye as a biological sense organ. They’ll perform a routine annual check of the blood flow, structure, and condition of the eye. If they identify issues, or you mention eye concerns that might indicate disease, it’s time for a medical eye exam.

Medical Eye Exams Address a Specific Condition

At a medical eye exam, you’ll likely undergo more specific tests to diagnose and characterize an eye condition. These tests could involve checking your peripheral vision limits, color vision tests, eye motion evaluation, fluorescein angiography, optical coherence tomography, and more. The results may be followed by treatment recommendations such as medication or surgery.

Comparing Vision Correction and Medical Eye Care

Here are two examples, one vision correction, one medical care. Our ophthalmologists at ICON Eyecare offer both cataract and LASIK surgery in the Denver metro area. LASIK provides vision correction. Cataract surgery addresses a medical condition, where the eye’s internal lens becomes cloudy due to biological changes.

Your Annual Eye Exam is Important for Overall Eye Health

Your eye checkup is more than checking your current vision quality. Even if you can read perfectly and identify birds in flight, we still want to see what’s happening inside your eyes. Many eye conditions are only identifiable with the techniques used at eye exams. If we do identify something that needs attention, at ICON Eyecare we have the specialist eye doctors in the Front Range that you’ll need to see, and we can schedule that medical eye exam right away. Call us and celebrate National Eye Exam Month with a vision health checkup.