Eye Exams

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Southwestern Eye Center’s optometrists and ophthalmologists use their years of experience and the latest technology to diagnose and treat eye disorders.

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If you have ever considered getting your eyes checked, you have probably wondered what kind of appointment you need. Do you just need an updated glasses prescription? Are you experiencing major changes in your vision and are looking for a more robust screening? Southwestern Eye Center offers two types of eye exams to fulfill each of these purposes; a comprehensive medical eye exam and a regular vision eye exam.

Comprehensive Medical Eye Exams

A comprehensive eye examination is the best way to support healthy vision. It allows our doctors to screen for the early detection and management of eye diseases, monitoring of visual acuity, and ensuring that your eyes remain healthy throughout your life. 

What to expect during your Comprehensive Medical Eye Exam:

  • A dilated eye exam, which involves the use of eye drops to enlarge the pupil and allows the eye doctor to examine the retina and optic nerve at the back of the eye more thoroughly.
  • Your eye doctor will perform various tests to evaluate the eye’s health, including:
    • Checking eye movements and alignment
    • Assessing eye pressure
    • Examining the internal and external structures of the eye using specialized equipment
    • Performing a visual field test measures the range of your peripheral vision.

Your optometrist may discover a need for additional testing not listed above as they evaluate your eyes. The frequency of eye exams can vary based on your age, health status, and other factors, so it’s essential to consult with your eye doctor to determine the appropriate schedule for your needs.

When and Why do I need a Comprehensive Eye Examination?

A comprehensive eye examination is paramount to supporting good eye health and can be necessary at different points throughout your life. Here are three instances when you may need a comprehensive eye exam:

1. During Adulthood: As an adult, you should have a comprehensive eye exam at least once every two years, even if you do not wear glasses or contacts, to ensure that your eyes are healthy and to check for any signs of eye disease.

2. With Risk Factors: If you have certain risk factors for eye diseases, such as a family history of glaucoma or macular degeneration, or if you have certain medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, or autoimmune diseases, you may need more frequent eye exams.

3. As You Age: As you get older, your risk for eye diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration increases. It is recommended that adults over the age of 60 have annual comprehensive eye exams to monitor their eye health and catch any problems early.

Benefits of a Medical Eye Exam

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Monitor for the development of eye conditions like Cataracts, Glaucoma and Macular Degeneration.
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Understand if prescription glasses or contacts could be beneficial for you and at what power.
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Speak directly with an optometrist about your eyes and any concerns you have related to your vision. 

Regular Vision Eye Exam

If you opt for a regular vision exam, our team will run simple tests to ensure the health of your eye, including testing your vision to determine the need for glasses and contacts or updating your current prescription. You will not be dilated for this exam.

You can also receive updated eyeglasses and contact prescriptions in addition to your comprehensive medical exam. It is important to note that your prescription will be charged separately from your comprehensive exam if you are using medical insurance. See more on what to know about insurance below. 

When I had my eye exam I was able to ask questions and receive the answers I needed. I felt like my individual needs were addressed. “

– Janet K.

My exam was thorough and all aspects were explained completely. All those I had contact with were professional and polite. I highly recommend Southwestern Eye Center.”

– Roxanne M.

I had a pleasant visit at the Clinic. The staff was very courteous and professional. All of my questions were answered.”

– Tresia C. 

Importance of Eye Exams

Eye exams are an important part of maintaining good eye health, but not everyone understands why they are so crucial. Have you ever considered the importance of your eyes in your daily life? They are one of the most important senses we have, and a good way to take care of them is through regular eye exams. Much like an annual mammogram is important to screen for breast cancer, an eye exam can detect problems before they become more serious and can help prevent future eye issues. Some eye conditions that can be detected during an eye exam include glaucoma and cataracts, both of which develop and become more difficult to treat if they go undetected. Eye exams are especially important for people who have a family history of eye disease, have certain medical conditions like diabetes, or who wear glasses or contacts.

Our Doctors

Our optometrists are equipped to handle all of your eye concerns. Take a look at some of our doctors who provide comprehensive eye exams across Arizona and New Mexico.

What Insurance do I need for an Eye Exam?

Vision Vs. Medical Insurance

Medical insurance should be used to cover your comprehensive medical eye exam. You do not need vision insurance for this type of exam. Medical insurance should also be used for the further management  of eye conditions and treatments. 

Vision Insurance is a benefit that can typically only be used once a year and will likely cover your regular eye exam. You may also have vision benefits that go towards the purchase of glasses or contacts. 

Please note that even if you have both vision and medical insurance, you cannot use both types of insurance for the same visit. For example, if you schedule a comprehensive medical eye exam, you will have an additional charge to obtain your eyeglass prescription if you are trying to use both benefits at the same time. 

If you schedule a regular vision eye exam, you will receive your prescription as part of those benefits. If however, during your regular vision appointment, you are diagnosed with a medical eye-related issue or require additional treatment, our team may recommend that you use your medical insurance to reduce your cost. 

Take a look at this helpful chart to further discern the differences between Vision and Medical Insurance.

Vision Insurance Medical Insurance
Covers some eye care services like regular eye exams and refractive services. Covers medical eye care services, including the management of eye diseases and comprehensive medical eye exams.
Benefits typically include an allowance toward glasses and/or contact lenses. Only covers materials if you have a Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA).
Benefit can only be used one time per calendar year or one time every other year. Benefit can be used multiple times throughout the year.

If you have further questions regarding which insurance benefit you should use for your eye exam, please ask your patient representative during scheduling or Contact Us anytime.

Discover More Helpful Resources

Senior Eye Health Guide

Find answers to all your questions about age-related eye problems and how to maintain good eyesight as you get older.

Prepare for an Eye Exam

Read about how you can best prepare for an eye exam. Learn what questions to ask and how to get the most out of your exam. 

Optical Shops

Southwestern Eye Center provides optical services in many of our locations across Arizona and New Mexico.