Comprehensive eye exams are VERY important. They measure visual acuity and any prescription needed to improve the acuity. Most people want to see perfectly and often, glasses and contacts are all that is needed to improve their sight. Comprehensive exams also evaluate the health of the front and the back of the eye. The pressure inside the eye is measured to determine the risk of glaucoma. Frequently, eye health issues are found that could point to problems as the person matures, so this information is of extreme importance. In addition, systemic (general body) health problems can be found by changes found inside the eye during the exam.
The binocular vision exam is examining how the two eyes work together. These exams are for many more conditions other than a “lazy eye.” The binocular vision exam includes the evaluation of the following skills:
Near focusing skills (accommodation)
Eye posture (distance and near)
Eye fixation and coordination
Eye movement and tracking (including converging
Localization of a point in space
Suppression of either eye
Visual Motor Skills
Visual Information Processing
Directionality and laterality of body position
As you can see, these exams have a much different focus and gather different information. Start with a comprehensive eye exam. Make sure to mention all symptoms or problems, especially any which are related to academics. Binocular vision exams can be made without a referral if your eye doctor is not familiar with a specialist in your area.