At Seema Eye Care, we are proud to offer a very thorough approach to analyzing the overall health of your eyes, and there is a wide range of tests available at our centre.
Our staff will test your vision to determine how well you see without any vision correction, such as glasses or contact lenses. This can help determine whether you need extra correction, or how well you’re seeing on your own after eye surgery.
A visual acuity of 20/20 is generally considered “perfect vision”. Ever wonder what 20/20 vision means? If you have 20/20 vision, what someone with perfect vision can see from 20 feet away, you can also see from 20 feet away. Alternatively, if you had a poorer visual acuity of 20/40, what someone with 20/20 vision could see from 40 feet away, you would need to be 20 feet away to see. On the other hand, if you had an exceptional visual acuity of 20/15, what someone with 20/20 vision could see from 15 feet away, you could still see at 20 feet away. In short, the smaller the second number, the better your vision!
Our staff can assist you in determining how well you can see with added correction, such as glasses. Often times, patients will wonder if it is time for eye surgery, or if perhaps they should just update their prescription.
Please note, however, that at Seema Eye Care Centre, we do not give prescriptions for glasses or contacts. This is because we rely on an extensive optometry network in Southern Alberta to help with that process, which can require a great deal of time and care to be performed properly. We believe in a true Optometry-Ophthalmology comanagement model where we work with many Doctors of Optometry in the city and beyond to maintain a continuity of care for our patients who are deemed to be healthy and have no concerns.
Any time you come into Seema Eye Care Centre, our trained technicians will check your intraocular pressure (IOP). This is because it is important to ensure that your IOP stays in a healthy and safe range. High IOP’s can be a sign of serious issues such as glaucoma or reactions to certain medications, and prolonged high IOP’s can lead to permanent damage to the optic nerve causing loss of vision and potential blindness.
If we determine your eye pressure is at an unsafe level, our doctors have a range of treatment options available, including medicated eye drops and laser treatments.
Technicians at Seema Eye Care can carry out a simple exam to test your colour vision. Colour blindness can range from partial to complete. While some patients may be born with poor colour vision, others may lose their ability to perceive colour over time, sometimes due to certain systemic medications or illnesses, incidents such as strokes, or the aging process.
Visual field testing can be carried out to determine the extent of a patient’s peripheral vision. There are several different visual field tests used to monitor or rule out glaucoma, possible neurological conditions, or deterioration of vision due to other factors. There is also a certain visual field test sometimes required for a driver’s license test. Seema Eye Care Centre can offer visual field testing for any of the above-mentioned reasons when required.
Optical coherence tomography (OCT) analysis can be used to obtain images of the cornea, anterior chamber, macula, optic nerve head, and tear film. Our Avanti OCT system from Optovue is one of the most precise OCT systems in the industry. It screens the eye at the micron level, allowing for proper screening and diagnosis of various eye disorders.
The fundus or retinal photography system takes a microscopic image of the back of the eye, to give a view of the macula, retina and retinal vasculature, optic disc, and the fundus. These images are useful in screening for diabetic and hypertensive eye disorders, as well as glaucoma and other issues affecting the back of the eye. Fundus photography is not covered by Alberta Health Care, therefore there is a fee for this imaging test.
As a corneal specialist clinic, Seema Eye Care Centre has some of the most advanced technology for screening and diagnosing various corneal diseases or issues, including but not limited to keratoconus, ectasia, astigmatism, corneal dystrophy, pterygium, and corneal scarring.
Pentacam imaging, or corneal tomography, is used to detect subtle abnormalities of the cornea. Our corneal tomographer from Oculus is one of the most advanced corneal diagnostic systems available in medicine. It is used for screening patients for keratoconus and ectasia, as well as assessing regular or irregular astigmatism. Pentacam imaging is not covered by Alberta Health Services, therefore there is a fee for this test.
iTrace testing measures a patient’s refractive error and entire visual pathway in very small and precise increments, allowing us to measure ocular abnormalities. The iTrace from Tracey Technologies is one of the most advanced aberrometry systems in the industry and is used at Seema Eye Care Centre during the process of measuring the eye in preparation for cataract or refractive eye surgery, as well as for keratoconus and ectasia assessment. iTrace testing is not covered by Alberta Health Services, therefore there is a fee for this imaging test.
Tear Lab testing is an option available to measure the osmolarity of the eye. An osmolarity measurement outside of normal range can indicate an unstable tear film, meaning even if a patient is not experiencing symptoms of dry eye, they may be at risk for dry eye following eye surgery. This is why Tear Lab testing is recommended for all patients visiting our office for dry eye analysis, as well as for cataract assessment. In the event that your Tear Lab reading is outside of normal limits, your ophthalmologist will offer you various dry eye treatments specific to your needs to ensure comfort and optimal vision following surgery. Tear Lab testing is not covered by Alberta Health Services, therefore there is an associated fee, and while recommended, it is not a required test.
Schirmer testing is performed by our technicians by placing a small test paper strip in the lower eyelids and asking the patient to keep their eyes closed for 5 minutes in order to determine if the eyes are making enough tears to keep the eyes lubricated. After 5 minutes, the level of tears on the test strips is measured. The level of tear production, or lack of tear production, can be indicative of various dry eye disorders, and this information is helpful to your ophthalmologist in diagnosing your dry eye symptoms and developing a treatment plan moving forward.
An important aspect of dry eye analysis is determining how well the meibomian glands are working. Small glands on the inner margins of the top and bottom eyelids, called meibomian glands, are responsible for delivering and oily lipid layer to the surface of the eye when a person blinks. This helps to maintain a healthy level of tears on the surface of the eye for proper lubrication. Over time, the quality and amount of these oils can decrease, causing evaporative dry eye disease. At Seema Eye Care Centre, diagnostic testing such as Lipiview and Lipiscan tests are performed to provide a direct visual image to show the state of the meibomian glands, including how many are functional, how many are blocked, and the areas that have experienced loss of glands or “gland dropout”. Your ophthalmologist can also test to see how functional the oil glands are during your slit lamp exam by applying pressure to the lids and examining the quality and amount of oils expressed by the glands.
Poor oil flow and quality can be treated with a multitude of strategies. Your doctor will discuss available treatment options, as well as tips and strategies to improve your oils on a daily basis.
Following all testing performed by our skilled team of technicians, your doctor will use a slit-lamp to thoroughly examine your eyes. A slit lamp is essentially a microscope used to view the surface, inside, and back of the eye, as well as the eyelids, tear ducts, and meibomian glands. The slit-lamp examination is one of the most important tools your doctor will use in assessing and diagnosing your eyes. During this process, you will likely hear your doctor relaying certain information to our physician’s assistants, who are standing by to record all important information and allow the doctor to focus fully on your eyes.
Seema Eye Care Centre is proud to have several slit lamps capable of taking photographic images of exactly what your ophthalmologist is seeing when examining your eye through the slit lamp. This helps your doctor to monitor various conditions, such as dryness, corneal scars, or injuries, and to compare how they change or improve over time. It also helps us show you as the patient exactly what is happening with your eye and why a specific treatment may be necessary. This gives our patients a better understanding of their treatment plan and progress.
A dilated exam allows your doctor to have a clear, wider view of the macula and optic nerve at the back of the eye, in order to assess for retinal tears or detachments, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, glaucoma, or ocular trauma. For a dilated exam, our technicians will administer drops to the eyes to make the pupil dilate, or grow larger. Please inform our technicians if you have any allergies to drops or preservatives, as we have several forms of dilating drops on hand in the event that a patient has previously reacted to dilation drops. Dilated exams are considered a required part of any cataract or diabetic assessment, and your doctor may also request it for various other reasons to ensure the eyes are healthy, to keep you are seeing your best for years to come!
If you know you are to be dilated on the day of your appointment, we ask that you please bring a driver with you for safety reasons. Dilation drops can cause blurred vision and light sensitivity for several hours, therefore patients are advised not to drive, and to bring sunglasses with them to their appointment.