What Can a Comprehensive Eye Exam Detect?

What Can a Comprehensive Eye Exam Detect?

What Can a Comprehensive Eye Exam Detect?

What Can a Comprehensive Eye Exam Detect?

Eye exams are crucial for your eye health and your general body health. Optometrists can spot problems as they conduct your regular comprehensive eye exam. Comprehensive eye exams last less than an hour, with each test evaluating different aspects of your eye health. As the optometrist checks these aspects, they can detect the following eye and health conditions.

Detecting Refractive Errors


These cause the inability to focus on objects or blurry vision. Without proper treatment, it may cause headaches and eyestrain. Refractive errors include:

  • Astigmatism

  • Nearsightedness (myopia)

  • Farsighted (hyperopia)

  • Presbyopia

The eye doctor will prescribe various lenses to deal with the various refractive errors.

Age-related Eye Conditions


As you age, you may start noticing changes in your vision. You may lose your ability to see objects up close or need more time to adjust to different lights. The usual age-related changes do not harm your eyes. However, age-related eye conditions can become severe and result in vision loss without proper care. 

Comprehensive eye exams help detect and diagnose different abnormalities arising from these conditions. They also allow the Optometrist to prescribe early treatment that stops vision loss. These conditions include glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy.



Diabetes affects more than 10 percent of Americans—and before you know it, it can cause severe complications. One of the ways eye doctors detect it early is through comprehensive eye exams. It causes diabetic retinopathy, an eye condition resulting from damage to the blood vessels in the retina. Both diabetes and diabetic retinopathy can be sneaky—hence the need to get regular comprehensive eye exams. 

High Blood Pressure


The tiny blood vessels in the eye may break when you sneeze too hard or cough. It is harmless. But when there is bleeding with no provocation, it can be a sign of high blood pressure. The condition causes the retinal arteries to stiffen and the tiny blood vessels to break.

The blood may leak into the back of the eye. The stiffening of arteries may also cause the eye to swell. The result could be eye conditions like glaucoma and macular degeneration.

Heart Disease


Comprehensive eye exams can detect cardiovascular conditions early. These include clogged arteries that can cause a stroke. If there is plaque buildup in the carotid artery, it can reach the brain and cause a stroke. The eye doctor can see these little plaque deposits inside the eye as some break away from the blood vessels.

Your eyes can also display symptoms of ischemia or decreased blood flow. Optometrists can detect this during a comprehensive eye exam by looking at the retina. Ischemia causes an interruption in blood flow that causes cells in the retina to die. The retina cannot regenerate and make new cells due to the interruption, leaving behind retinal ischemic perivascular lesions (RIPLs). The presence of many lesions is a sign of heart disease.

For more information on comprehensive eye exams, visit Eye Focus Northwest at our Salem or Tigard, Oregon office. Call (971) 808-2640 or (971) 202-1932 to schedule an appointment today.

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