Like so many busy people, it’s hard to find time to do the things we love to do, let alone the things we don’t enjoy so much – like going to the doctor.

But, making sure you visit the eye doctor at least once a year can make a big difference in your overall health.

When you get a regular eye exam, your eye doctor doesn’t just check your vision to see if you are in need of glasses or contacts. Your doctor will also perform a number of tests that can help detect larger issues such as diabetes, cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration. Dr. Hetel Bhakta is ocular disease trained and can detect and manage many diseases of the eye. She has a wide variety of technology in her office to detect earlier diseases such as glaucoma. Making sure you visit your eye doctor at regular intervals means it’s more likely that any problems can be found early and treated, preempting any bigger issues.

Here are just a few of the different procedures and tests that you can expect at your next eye appointment.

Sit Lamp – During this procedure, the eye doctor has the patient sit in a chair with their chin and head resting against a support. The doctor will then use a special condensing lens to examine the eyes. This test allows the doctor to detect a myriad of potential eye problems including retinal detachment, retinal vessel occlusion, cataracts, conjunctivitis and more.

Glaucoma testing – An eye doctor can easily test the amount of fluid pressure inside the eye, which can determine if there is a risk of glaucoma. This may be done by using an instrument that releases a puff of air onto each eye or an instrument that gently applanates each eye and measures the amount of resistance.

Dilation – When the eye doctor dilates the eye, she/he will give the patients a few eye drops to cause the pupils to dilate. This allows the doctor to examine the inside of the eyes, including looking at the optic nerve and the blood vessels within the retina. After the pupil is dilated, the patient may experience blurriness after the test.

Vision test- Along with the standard eye chart test to see how far away a patient can see, the eye doctor also tests how the eyes work together by having the patient cover one eye while doing the same visual test. This is important because if one eye is stronger than the other, its possible the patient could be experiencing headaches from one eye overcompensating.

Don’t forget to schedule your eye care appointment with your local Greenacres eye doctor. Visiting the eye doctor once a year is recommended to ensure optimal eye care health.