Difference Between Medical and Routine Eye Exams


The eyes play a vital role in your life. They help you see to improve your quality of life when doing almost everything in your daily routine. They act as the windows to the world, so ensuring they remain healthy is vital. One way you can do so is by ensuring you get routine eye exams at your doctor’s office. However, many patients get confused about what type of eye exam is right for them.

Most patients think eye exams are all alike. However, they are all different and serve various purposes. In particular, understanding the difference between a medical and routine eye exam helps determine which one suits you best. Read on to learn more.


Medical Eye Exams


Your doctor can detect a medical condition during your routine eye exam. A medical exam is a follow-up that results after that. It treats or evaluates you for ailments that can impact your vision. 


A medical eye exam resolves problems that are beyond your refractive error. It involves more testing, additional evaluation of the detected medical condition, and a treatment plan recommendation.


Conditions Detected During a Medical Eye Exam


Below are some conditions your eye specialist can detect through a medical eye exam:


  • Diabetes

  • Cataracts

  • Glaucoma

  • Dry eye

  • Conjunctivitis


Routine Eye Exams


Routine eye exams take place annually. They are forthright and include updating contact lenses or eyeglass prescriptions and checking for eye diseases. The primary goal of the exam is to identify whether the patient has an eyesight impairment like a refractive error. Shortsightedness or myopia is the most predominant in the United States. The other types include presbyopia, astigmatism, and farsightedness or hyperopia.

Refractive errors account for approximately 80 percent of all the vision impairments that individuals experience in the United States. They occur when the light penetrating your eye does not reflect or hit your retina well. Consequently, the images that get to your brain appear blurred and distorted, and focusing on them becomes a struggle. Refractive errors can cause eyestrain, headaches, and the appearance of halos around light sources and glare.

Routine eye exams assess your ability to see at varying distances. It also examines whether corrective devices like contact lenses and prescription glasses can help if you have a refractive error. The exam often lasts at most 30 minutes. 

Most vision insurances cover annual routine eye exams. However, other providers only offer some discounts. Hence, it is vital to look at what the plan you choose offers. Individuals without vision insurance often pay out of pocket for routine eye exams.


The Difference Between Medical and Routine Eye Exams

Insurance providers help distinguish between medical and routine eye exams distinctly. A medical eye exam diagnoses and treats eye diseases like cataracts, conjunctivitis, and glaucoma. On the other hand, routine eye exams diagnose and treat complaints that are not medical, like farsightedness or astigmatism.


Schedule an Appointment


The differences between medical and routine eye exams may not seem significant to some people. However, being aware of them is essential for your eye and general health. Schedule routine eye exams every year. If you suspect something wrong that could be beyond vision problems, schedule a medical eye exam.


For more about medical and routine eye exams, visit the Eyecare Center of Martin at our office in Martin, Tennessee. Call (731) 587-3555 to book an appointment today.

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