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A comprehensive dilated eye exam is a painless procedure in which an eye care professional examines your eyes to look for common vision problems and eye diseases, many of which have no early warning signs. Regular comprehensive eye exams can help you protect your sight and make sure that you are seeing your best.

During a comprehensive dilated eye exam, an eye care professional examines your eyes to look for common vision problems and eye diseases, many of which have no early warning signs. Regular comprehensive eye exams can help make sure your eyes are healthy and you are seeing your best.

A comprehensive eye examination includes: dilation, tonometry, visual field test and visual acuity test.

Dilation: Drops are placed in your eyes to dilate, or widen, the pupils. Your eye care professional uses a special magnifying lens to examine your retina to look for signs of damage and other eye problems, such as diabetic retinopathy or age-related macular degeneration. This video helps describe what a doctor sees when examining the retina, optic nerve and macula after the pupils are dilated.

Dilation is the most important part of a comprehensive eye exam because it allows your eye care professional to get a better view of the inside of the eye.

Tonometry: This test helps to detect glaucoma by measuring eye pressure. Your eye care professional may direct a quick puff of air onto the eye, or gently apply a pressure-sensitive tip near or against the eye. Numbing drops may be applied to your eye for this test. Elevated pressure is a possible sign of glaucoma.

Visual field test: This test measures your side (peripheral) vision. It helps your eye care professional find out if you have lost side vision, a sign of glaucoma.

Visual acuity test: This eye chart test measures how well you see at various distances.

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