Comprehensive Eye Care

Eye ExamsRegular Eye Exams are Important

The health of our eyes is extremely important to our quality of life. Regular eye exams should be an important part of everyone's health care regime, especially those who suffer from chronic health conditions (such as diabetes or high blood pressure).

If you experience changes in your vision between routine visits with your eye specialist, you should call and arrange to be checked as soon as possible. Early detection of problems and treatment of diseases or conditions can be key to vision loss prevention. Many people, who make regular visits to their medical doctor or dentist, neglect to ensure their visual health with regular visits to their eye doctor. Those people don’t realize that 80% of all the sensory information our brains receive comes from our eyes.

Comprehensive Eye Exams

When an eye care professional checks a patient’s vision, he or she is measuring visual acuity. Visual Acuity is the measurement of the smallest object a person can see without corrective lenses, or with glasses or contact lenses, if they are needed. The goal of an eye care professional is to improve the patient's corrected visual acuity.

To check a patient’s visual acuity an eye care professional may use various tools. The Snellen eye chart is the most familiar tool used to test eyes. It was developed by Dutch ophthalmologist Hermann Snellen In 1862. It contains letters and numbers that are presented to the patient at a distance of twenty feet. A patient taking this test covers one eye, and reads aloud the letters of each row, beginning at the top. The smallest row that can be read accurately indicates the patient's visual acuity in that eye. Whenever acuity must be assessed carefully, equipment may be used that can present the letters in a variety of randomized patterns.

20/20 Vision is Normal

If a person has 20/40 vision, they would need to approach to a distance of twenty feet to read letters that a person with normal acuity could read at forty feet. A person is legally blind when they have 20/200 vision. They can only see at twenty feet what a normal eye can see at two hundred feet.

Preparing for your Eye Exam

When a person calls to make an eye appointment with their Greenville Eye Doctor, he or she should be prepared to describe any current vision problems. In addition, patients should ask if the eye examination will affect their vision temporarily and if they will need someone to drive them home. They may also want to ask about the cost of the exam, if their insurance plan will cover any of the cost, and how payment is handled.

Before coming to your appointment you should gather and bring the following items and information to help answer questions that we may ask you.

  • Printout, complete, and bring with you our Patient Forms
  • Symptoms of current eye problems (flashes of light, difficulty seeing at night, double vision, loss of vision, etc.).
  • General Health Information (Chronic Conditions, Allergies, Operations, etc.)
  • Prescriptions and over?the?counter drugs currently being used. (A complete list of all medicines used)
  • Bring the actual prescriptions with you also please
  • Family history of eye problems
  • Eye injuries or eye surgeries (approximate dates, where treated)
  • Any questions you have about your vision, glasses, contacts, laser surgery, etc.
  • Glasses, contact lenses or both
  • Your Medical or Health Insurance Card
  • A friend to drive you home

Symptoms that May Require an Eye Exam

A person experiencing any of the following symptoms should schedule an appointment with an eye professional:


  • Holding a book too close to their eyes.
  • Difficulty reading the blackboard in school.
  • Complaints of blurry eyesight.
  • Squinting a lot.
  • Closing or covering one eye in order to see.


  • Arms are suddenly"too short," i.e., need to hold the newspaper or other reading material far away.
  • Unusual difficulty adjusting to dark rooms.
  • Difficulty focusing on close or distant objects.
  • Unusual sensitivity to light or glare.
  • Change in the color of the iris.
  • Red?rimmed, encrusted, or swollen lids.
  • Recurrent pain in or around the eyes.
  • Double vision.
  • Dark spot at the center of their vision.
  • Lines and straight edges appear wavy or distorted.
  • Excess tearing or"watery eyes."
  • Dry eyes with itching or burning.
  • Seeing spots or ghost?like images.

The following symptoms are indications of serious medical problems that require immediate attention:

  • Sudden loss of vision in one eye.
  • Sudden hazy or blurred vision.
  • Flashes of light or black spots in the field of vision.
  • Halos or rainbows around lights.
  • Curtain?like blotting out of vision.
  • Loss of peripheral (side) vision.

What to Expect

Your comprehensive eye exam will consist of the following:

  • Review of your family and personal health history
  • Examination of the interior and exterior of the eyes for signs of eye disease or general health problems such as diabetes or hardening of the arteries
  • Eye pressure and field of vision tests to diagnose glaucoma
  • Tests of visual acuity at both close and far distances
  • Tests to determine the presence of nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, depth perception problems, and in people over age 40, presbyopia
  • Check of eye coordination and eye muscle function to make sure the eyes are working together as a team
  • Additional tests may be performed if indicated after initial exam findings

Additional Tests for Children May Include:

  • Test for Normal Color Vision
  • Tests for Indications of Crossed Eyes
  • Tests to ensure usage of both eyes
  • Assessment of Vision Skill Development
  • Assessment of Eye?Hand?Foot Coordination

Testing Children

Schedule testing for children when they will be most cooperative, and able to participate if at all possible. If children have difficulty with their attention span or have developmental or communication impairments, they may not test well even though they can see well. Be sure to alert your Greenville eye doctor to any problems in this area.

Discuss the Exam's Findings and Treatments Prescribed

Advanced Eye Care encourages its patients to take an active role in their health care. It is important to communicate any confusion you have surrounding an issue; to get a clear understanding of your condition status, and to learn about maintaining the health of your eyes. Below are some suggestions to keep in mind when talking to Dr. Phillips:

  • Ask questions until you do understand all issues and instructions discussed
  • Ask for written instructions
  • Ask for printed materials about your condition
  • Take notes, or get a friend or family member to take notes for you
  • Bring a tape recorder to help you remember points made during the discussion
  • Ask where you can go for more information
  • Research and read more about your condition on?line

Questions you might ask to get a better understanding include:

  • What are the causes of my condition?
  • What kind of tests will I have?
  • Will I need more tests in the future?
  • How can I prepare for the tests?
  • Do the tests have any side effects or risks?
  • How is this condition treated?
  • How long does treatment last?
  • What are the benefits and risks of treatment?
  • If my treatment includes a medication, what should I do if I miss a dose?
  • Are other treatment options available?
  • How will this condition affect my sight in the future?
  • Should I watch out for any particular symptoms?
  • Should I call you if these symptoms occur?
  • What, if any, lifestyle changes are necessary?
  • Are there foods, drugs, or activities that should be avoided while on treatment?