How Do Regular Eye Exams Detect Early Signs of Eye Disease?

If you have not been in touch with your eye doctor for a while, maybe it is time to book an appointment. The American Association of Retired Persons states that seeing your eye doctor every year can help keep your eyes in top shape. Inspecting your eyes can reveal hidden eye issues and even systemic diseases. Regular eye exams can provide your eye doctor with a preview of your eye health. Here are the details about how routine eye checks can spot early signs of eye problems. 


Retinal Conditions


Retinal problems vary, but most of these conditions cause visual issues. This means something is wrong with a part of your retina, a tissue in your eye’s back wall. A routine eye exam may include a retinal exam or fundoscopy. Your eye doctor will use this exam to check for anything wrong with your retina. Digital retinal imaging may also be necessary. This high-resolution imaging can check for chronic conditions. It can also check for macular degeneration or even a detached retina. 


Refractive Errors


If you have blurry vision, your eye doctor can use a retinoscopy exam. This eye test will use a retinoscope for measuring the refractive error of your eyes. A refractive error is a common eye problem that takes away your ability to focus on the images around you. It could result in vision impairment when severe. Here are the different types of refractive errors:


  • Presbyopia

  • Myopia

  • Astigmatism

  • Hyperopia


Optic Nerve Conditions


The optic nerve is a bundle of at least a million nerve fibers. It is responsible for relaying messages from your eyes to your brain. Any damage to your optic nerve can lead to vision loss. Your eye doctor can use a swinging flashlight test to detect optic nerve conditions. This test involves moving the light source from side to side in front of your eyes. Your eye doctor can compare the reaction of each eye to the light stimulation. The swinging flashlight test can help spot a decrease in vision from an eye condition. 


Pediatric Eye Conditions


Regular eye exams must be done even before your child reaches first grade. These checkups can alert the eye doctor of specific eye conditions like lazy eye or nearsightedness. The results of the eye exams can then give way to early treatments. Studies show that 80% of learning requires good vision. Therefore, correcting eye conditions early can help your child excel in academics and extra-curricular activities. 




Glaucoma is a group of conditions that lead to blindness due to optic nerve damage. Your eye doctor can perform eye tests to measure your eye’s fluid pressure. Your eye doctor will start by using numbing eye drops to prevent discomfort during these tests. You may want to seek the opinion of a specialist if you are diagnosed with glaucoma. Doing so can help you get the advanced treatment you require.


Pupillary Reaction Issues


A regular eye exam may include a pupillary reaction test. Pupils shrink when there is light and enlarge in dim lighting or darkness. Your eye doctor will use this test to measure how your pupils react to light. This test will allow your provider to note the shape and size of your pupils as they respond to light. Studies show that the following conditions have a connection to an abnormal pupillary reaction:


  • Response to specific medications, such as opiates

  • Anisocoria, in which one pupil is bigger than the other

  • Brain tumors

  • Cluster headaches

  • Oculomotor nerve damage


Don’t Skip Regular Eye Exams


Regular eye exams can help detect early signs of eye conditions. They can even lead to early treatments. At Drs. Stein and Goldschneider Doctors of Optometry, we provide top-notch eye care products and services. You can visit our clinic in Blackwood, New Jersey, for in-person consultations. Please call 856-408-1800 to set an appointment or ask about our regular eye exam packages.