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2120 Northgate Park Lane
Suite 102
Chattanooga, TN 37415

Phone:(423) 702-2020
Fax: (423) 702-2021

Comprehensive Eye Care

What is a comprehensive dilated eye exam?

A comprehensive dilated eye exam is a painless procedure in which an eye care professional examines your eyes to look for common vision problems and eye diseases, many of which have no early warning signs. Regular comprehensive eye exams can help you protect your sight and make sure that you are seeing your best.

What does a comprehensive dilated eye exam include?

A comprehensive eye examination includes: dilation, tonometry, visual field test and visual acuity test.

Dilation: Drops are placed in your eyes to dilate, or widen, the pupils. Your eye care professional uses a special magnifying lens to examine your retina to look for signs of damage and other eye problems, such as diabetic retinopathy or age-related macular degeneration. A dilated eye exam also allows your doctor to check for damage to the optic nerve that occurs when a person has glaucoma. After the examination, your close-up vision may remain blurred for several hours.

Tonometry: This test helps to detect glaucoma by measuring eye pressure. Your eye care professional may direct a quick puff of air onto the eye, or gently apply a pressure-sensitive tip near or against the eye. Numbing drops may be applied to your eye for this test. Elevated pressure is a possible sign of glaucoma.

Visual field test: This test measures your side (peripheral) vision. It helps your eye care professional find out if you have lost side vision, a sign of glaucoma.

Visual acuity test: This eye chart test measures how well you see at various distances.

Source: National Eye Institute

Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration, or age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of vision loss in Americans 60 and older. It is a disease that destroys your sharp, central vision. You need central vision to see objects clearly and to do tasks such as reading and driving.

AMD affects the macula, the part of the eye that allows you to see fine detail. It does not hurt, but it causes cells in the macula to die. In some cases, AMD advances so slowly that people notice little change in their vision. In others, the disease progresses faster and may lead to a loss of vision in both eyes. Regular comprehensive eye exams can detect macular degeneration before the disease causes vision loss. Treatment can slow vision loss. It does not restore vision.

Source: Medline Plus

Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome is when the eye is unable to maintain a healthy layer of tears to coat it. Dry eye syndrome often occurs in people who are otherwise healthy. It is more common with older age, because you produce fewer tears with age.

In rare cases, it can be associated with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus erythematosus, and other similar diseases. It may also be caused by heat (thermal) or chemical burns.

Treatments may include:

  • Hot compresses or eyelash cleaning
  • Lubricating ointments (in more severe cases)
  • Medications such as Restasis, topical corticosteroids, and oral tetracycline and doxyccycline
  • Tiny plugs placed in the tear drainage ducts to help the tears stay on the surface of the eye
  • Wetting drops called artificial tears

Surgery may be used if the eyelids are in an abnormal position.

Source: Medline Plus

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease and a leading cause of blindness in American adults. It is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina.

In some people with diabetic retinopathy, blood vessels may swell and leak fluid. In other people, abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina. The retina is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. A healthy retina is necessary for good vision.

If you have diabetic retinopathy, at first you may not notice changes to your vision. But over time, diabetic retinopathy can get worse and cause vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy usually affects both eyes.


Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can damage the eye's optic nerve and result in vision loss and blindness. It is one of the main causes of blindness in the United States. However, with early treatment, you can often protect your eyes against serious vision loss. Therefore it is very important that it be diagnosed.