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Home » Eye Care Services » Comprehensive Eye Exams » Eye Exam Q&A with Dr Sandra Gillis-Kennedy

Eye Exam Q&A with Dr Sandra Gillis-Kennedy

What makes an eye exam comprehensive compared to a routine eye exam that provides a prescription?

A comprehensive eye exam ought to look at everything about your eye health, while the prescription is a very small portion of an eye exam. If one of our doctors identifies a sudden or somewhat abnormal prescription change, we want to investigate if there’s a possible underlying vision or a health problem like diabetes. Your eyes provide information about your whole body and how healthy you are.

Our exams are looking to identify changes in the body and eye health. Therefore, we typically have patients spend 45 minutes to an hour at our practice to make sure we have the time necessary to fully evaluate their health.

How does the eye relate to the body’s health?

Your eyes are a window to your health, as they say. Among the various eye diseases and conditions that can be found, eye exams are the earliest detector for various systemic diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, or multiple sclerosis since they affect your eyes. We’ve even identified cancer, brain tumors, and strokes early on, preventing them from becoming life-threatening.

How much importance does the Optomap & OCT play in the eye exam & why don’t all practices use them in their eye exams?

We don’t know why other practices don’t use technology like these. The Optomap is our technology of choice for our patients. It provides a 200-degree wide view of the retina as well as autofluorescence imaging, which shows allows us to review the entire health of the eye and various layers of the retina as well. Plus, we can build a medical history through the Optomap, which has been revolutionary in our level of patient care.

The OCT provides a deeper look at the layers of the retina, far more than the Optomap, but it doesn’t give a wide view of the retina.

The Optomap is an essential part of every eye exam since we have greater accuracy to find disease, while the OCT is more often used to zoom in on the retinal layer to analyze questionable or diseased certain parts of the retina. For example, the Optomap allows us to find eye diseases like macular degeneration and glaucoma, at their earlier stages, while the OCT can be used to see how advanced these diseases have become.

OCTs are often used at ophthalmologist offices, as they are more involved in actively treating disease. In our view, the Optomap is a patient’s best friend to ensure their eye health is protected for years to come.