Here at Annandale EyeCare, we want to ensure that your eyes are working properly by giving you a thorough eye health and vision exam.

Vision examinations are very important to your overall eye health. Many eye health issues do not show any early signs or symptoms, so it is important to have a vision test done on a regular basis. Early diagnosis and treatment of your eyes can help prevent vision loss in the future.

Each patient’s signs and symptoms will determine what types of tests should be conducted. A comprehensive adult vision examination includes many different parts. Some of these include patient history. We will ask about previous vision appointments that you have gone to and the results. We need to know about the history of your eyes and if you have had any problems in the past.

Then, we will measure visual acuity. The purpose of this is to see how accurate each eye can see. This includes reading charts at a far distance and at a near distance. Preliminary tests are sometimes performed to evaluate depth perception, color vision, eye-muscle movement, peripheral and side vision, and also how your eyes react to light. Finally, we will do an eye health evaluation. This will rule out any health or vision issues.

Optovue iWellness

This is a non-invasive imaging test that uses light waves to take cross-section pictures of your retina, the light-sensitive tissue lining the back of the eye. OCT is a sophisticated scanning system that produces highly detailed images of the retina. It is often likened to an MRI or x-ray of the eye. This scan allows your optometrist to see detailed images of the retina (the innermost layer of the interior eye), enabling them to accurately detect, monitor and control changes to the retina. This view of the retina is unable to seen with any other technology, in fact, being able to see all seven layers of the retina allows Dr. Court and Michelle to detect retinal diseases like macular degeneration earlier than ever before. Because of the importance of these images, we perform this on all of our eye wellness examinations.

Optovue iWellness retina health screening:

The iWellness scan is an easy-to-read report that displays the thickness of your retina and your ganglion cell complex as compared to a database of normal eyes. These metrics along with a high-resolution image and symmetry analysis help to identify if you are displaying the early signs of retinal disease or glaucoma.

Diabetic macular edema (DME): 

High blood sugar weakens the blood vessels which can cause them to leak or grow out of control; termed diabetic retinopathy. The leakage of fluid causing swelling of the surrounding tissue, including the macula. Diabetic macular edema is the most common cause of vision loss in people with diabetic retinopathy.

Macular Degeneration (AMD):

AMD is a common eye condition and a leading cause of vision loss among people age 50 and older. It causes damage to the macula; the “bulls-eye” of our vision, the part of the retina used for sharp, central vision (reading, driving, etc).

In some instances, AMD advances very slowly and vision loss does not occur for a long time. In others, the disease progresses very rapidly and a loss of vision in one or both eyes can happen quickly. As AMD progresses, a blurred or distorted area near the center of vision is a common symptom. Also, objects may not appear to be as bright as they used to be.


Glaucoma is a group of ocular diseases where the optic nerve, the connection between the eye and the brain, becomes damaged, usually due to elevated intraocular eye pressure (eye pressure), resulting in progressive loss of vision and eventually blindness.

There are few, if any symptoms early in the disease process, and unfortunately any vision loss is permanent. Early detection is essential in controlling this condition.

Traumatic Macular Hole:

Traumatic injuries of the eye can damage the retina as well as the exterior of the eye. The OCT helps our eye doctors determine the extent of the trauma and help decide on the best course of treatment.

In this instance, a soccer ball caused a traumatic macular hole, a rupture of the central portion of the retina, responsible for clear central vision. Fortunately, with surgical intervention, a full recovery was obtained.

Optos Widefield Scanning Laser

Optos Optomap Widefield Scanning Laser is a low-powered laser that digitally scans the retina, much like a photograph. However, because the Optos is a scanning laser, it allows Dr. Court and Michelle to see the retina in a widefield view, which is otherwise unobtainable. In other words, they can see almost the entire retina in one image, rather than a series of images or views with various instruments. The procedure is non-invasive, painless and takes less than a minute. Patients simply look into the device, one eye at a time, sort of like looking through a keyhole, and wait until the see a gentle flash of light. This gentle flash is the Optos capturing a wide-angle image of the retina. These images are closely reviewed for any abnormalities. Optos offers patients a revolutionary exam for early retinal disease detection. These images are so important in the evaluation of ocular health, they are part of our eye wellness examinations.

Healthy Retina

This is an example of an image of a healthy retina. The 200-degree field of view allows our doctors to view up to 80% of the retinal surface compared to only 45 degrees, or about 15%, of the retina at any one time with other technology or examination procedures.

This instrument allows our doctors to see the retina all at one time but does not always replace the need for dilation. Dilation allows the doctor to look more closely at any particular area of the retina, and also the ability to see structures in three dimensions; something that digital images don’t allow us to see.

Retinal Detachment

This is one example of the type of images Dr. Courtney and Michelle Thelen can see when using the Optos Optomap scanning laser.

Our friendly and helpful staff will work with you regardless of your symptoms, or lack thereof, to ensure that all of your needs are met.

If you have any questions regarding vision exams or eye health, contact us today at (703) 941-4111.