Comprehensive Eye Exam Q & A


The team at Ford Eye Center in Arlington and Mansfield, Texas, perform comprehensive eye exams to identify and treat potential problems early and ensure adequate vision correction is being used. It's recommended that patients schedule a comprehensive eye exam at least once every 12 months.


How Long Does An Eye Exam Take?

A thorough comprehensive eye exam takes about an hour. At Ford Eye Center, the wait time is minimized to ensure patients receive a complete preventative exam and get back to their busy personal and professional schedules.

What Diseases Can Be Identified Through Regular Eye Exams?

A variety of conditions and diseases can be identified early through regular annual eye exams including nearsightedness, farsightedness, presbyopia, astigmatism, dry eye, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and macular degeneration. Because some very serious eye diseases produce no noticeable signs and symptoms, period eye exams are critical for early detection and treatment.

Do Patients Really Need An Exam Every 12 Months If They Can See Well?

Yes. There are several reasons an annual exam is so important. Periodic eye exams detect blinding conditions early, when it's still possible to stop progression and save vision.

Remember that:

  • Vision can change in as little as twelve months
  • Periodic eye exams may provide insight into problems with other body systems such as diabetes
  • Many vision insurance plans cover an annual exam at no cost to the patient.

What Factors Should A Patient Consider When Choosing Contact Lenses?

Patients should work with their eye doctor to choose the right contact lenses.

Factors to consider include:

  • How often contacts will be worn (daily or only sporadically)
  • Whether astigmatism correction is needed or not
  • How much care the patient is willing to put into their contacts
  • Whether the contacts will be worn overnight
  • Whether the patient wears bifocals
  • The cost of the contact lenses

Other factors that can play a role in contact lens selection including a dry eye diagnosis, allergies, and desire to modify eye color through contact lens use.

It’s important to note that the FDA requires a comprehensive eye exam to purchase colored contact lenses, even if no vision correction is needed.

What Should Patients Expect During A Regular Eye Exam?

First, a technician thoroughly reviews the patient’s medical history including family history, others diagnoses, and signs and symptoms of vision problems or other eye diseases. Once the history is complete, as many as 10 tests are performed (some by a technician and some by an optometrist or specialist). Each test is painless and designed to measure an aspect of vision or detect optical disease. Once the tests are complete, the eye doctor lets the patient know what they’ve discovered and writes a prescription for glasses or contact lenses. The patient can pick out their glasses or lenses immediately following their appointment.