Visual Health Exam vs. Vision Exam

Visual Health Exam vs. Vision Exam

Visual Health Exam vs. Vision Exam

Medical Vision offers two types of visits based on your health needs and your insurance. Visual Health Exams are covered under medical insurance. Vision Exams are benefits that can only be used in conjunction with a vision insurance plan. The insurance companies have limited patients to only one type of visit per calendar day.

Visual Health Exams will determine your visual acuity (how well you see with and without your glasses), sensorimotor examination (how well your eyes move together) as well as an examination of the back eye. This is the most important part of the Visual Health Exam; it is the best way to determine any pathological eye disorders within the eye as well as on the surface of the eye. To achieve this, the eye must be dilated.

Dilation is achieved by utilizing an eye drop that opens up the pupil (the part of of the eye that allows light in). Normally the pupil will constrict when light is shown upon it, but with the use of dilating drops, the pupil will temporarily not constrict, allowing us to use the pupil as a window to the back of the eye. Dilation will usually last for only a few hours; however your vision may be blurred and you may experience some light sensitivity. We will always send you home with a pair of shades to alleviate these symptoms.

Visual Health Exams focus on the pathological disorders within the eye that, generally speaking, decrease vision and cannot be corrected with glasses. Vision Exams, however, focus on the refractive error (error that can be corrected with glasses or contacts) of the eye. Since we will not be looking at the back of the eye for any pathological disorders, you will not typically be dilated for these exams. A refraction will be performed which will give us your most up to date prescription. We also offer a selection of Men’s and Women’s frames, so don’t forget to look through our optical room at the end of your visit!

If you have both medical insurance and a vision plan, you may be wondering which visit is best for you. Here are some factors to help you decide.


Our eyes become more at risk for pathological diseases over time. As a general rule, if you’ve not had a Visual Health Exam and you’re over the age of 40, this is the best exam option for you.


Irritation? Itchy, dry eyes? Redness on the eye or around it? There are many things that can can give us clues that something isn’t quite right with our eyes. From sudden decrease of vision to seeing bright flashes of light, any unusual symptoms are reason enough to be seen by an Ophthalmologist. If you meet this criteria, schedule a Visual Health Exam today. This visit will not be covered by a vision plan.

Old Glasses:

If you feel that the overall health of your eyes are in good condition and you only need an updated prescription, a Vision Exam is best suited for you. Glasses prescriptions are valid for up to two years and a contact lens prescription is valid for up to one year. If your glasses are over two years old, it is recommended to make an appointment to get an updated glasses prescription.

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