Comprehensive Eye Exam Specialist

Eduardo Besser, MD

Ophthalmologist & Eye Surgeon located in Culver City, CA

A comprehensive eye exam includes vision screening as well as specialized tests to detect eye disease, which is especially crucial for eye diseases that are asymptomatic in their early stages. Dr. Eduardo Besser specializes in preventing and treating eye diseases, including diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and glaucoma. Basic vision screening is not the same as a comprehensive exam, so if you’re overdue for a thorough eye evaluation, call Dr. Besser’s practice in the heart of Culver City, California, or schedule an appointment online.

Comprehensive Eye Exam Q & A

What is a comprehensive eye exam?

A comprehensive eye exam includes vision tests together with specialized tests to identify eye disease. Eye dilation is a critical component of a comprehensive exam because it gives the doctor a clear view of the retina, macula, optic nerve, and blood vessels.

Dr. Besser can detect early signs of progressive eye conditions with a dilated eye exam. Diseases like diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, and glaucoma exhibit visible changes inside the eye, such as swollen blood vessels, yellow deposits, and cupping of the optic nerve.

Besides screening for color blindness, eye movement, depth perception, and refraction, some key tests include:

  • Tonometry: measures eye pressure to detect glaucoma
  • Visual field test: measures peripheral (side) vision
  • Visual acuity test: tests vision at various distances
  • Slit lamp exam: binocular microscope used to examine external and internal structures under high magnification

What is the difference between an ophthalmologist and an optometrist?

An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor (MD) or a doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) with a specialization in eye and vision care. As an ophthalmologist, Dr. Besser has expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of eye disease and in performing eye surgery using the latest technology.

Optometrists are eye doctors who have earned a Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree. They test for vision problems, examine eyes for health conditions, and correct refractive errors by prescribing contact lenses and eyeglasses.

While optometrists are licensed to prescribe medications, the scope of the medical care they can provide is limited and determined by state laws. When an optometrist detects signs of eye disease, they refer the patient to an ophthalmologist.

Dr. Besser doesn’t provide eyeglasses or contact lenses but works closely with local optometrists and can make recommendations.

When should adults schedule a comprehensive eye exam?

Dr. Besser recommends having a baseline examination by the age of 40. Besides identifying early signs of eye disease, this exam provides a comparison to use during future exams. That helps detect subtle changes in structures inside the eye.

Patients with risk factors like diabetes and hypertension may need more frequent examinations. Otherwise, the recommended schedule for comprehensive eye exams is:

  • Under 40 years: every 5-10 years
  • 40-54 years of age: every 2-4 years
  • 55-64 years of age: every 1-3 years
  • Age 65 and older: every 1-2 years

With regular eye exams, eye conditions that develop for years without causing symptoms, such as diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, and glaucoma, can be detected and treated before they cause vision loss.