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Eyeglass exams

The doctors at Cannon EyeCare strive to provide the best eye exam in Seattle. We block off enough time to be thorough so that we can address each patient’s individual vision needs and eye health concerns. Our optometrist will want to hear about any issues you have had with your vision at distance and near (and on computer).

We will try to learn more about your visual demands at work, etc. Learning more about your unique visual demands will help our eye doctors formulate a plan to allow you to see what you need to see at all distances – with prescription glasses and/or contact lenses. Sometimes these discussions will even turn up medical issues such as eyestrain or visual discomfort after hours of computer work. This in turn will often lead to extra testing for dry eye disease or discussions about mitigating eyestrain.

Another key goal for your annual comprehensive eye exam is to strive for optimal eye health. Preventative eye care is key to optimal long-term eye health. Eye doctors are much better at helping patients keep the vision they have than at restoring vision once it has been lost to preventable eye disease. That’s why even if your prescription glasses or contacts seem to be working fine, getting your eyes checked annually makes sense.

We routinely screen patients for debilitating eye diseases such as glaucoma and macular degeneration. Whether it is time for your annual eye exam, your current glasses seem a little blurry, or you just know things are a little off, come see us for a comprehensive eye exam. When you get your eyes tested at Cannon EyeCare in Seattle, you will get much more than a prescription for glasses or contact lenses.

This exam type does not include a contact lens fitting. If you plan to update your prescription for contacts or try them for the first time, please select the ‘Eye Exam for Contacts’ appointment type for your visit.

You may be wondering what is included in a comprehensive eye exam at Cannon EyeCare. During your exam, you will likely have:

  • Visual acuity testing – a way to precisely determine how well you see at the start of the eye exam.
  • Cover Test – a key test for ocular muscle imbalance that can lead to serious problems like double vision, a lack of stereo vision, and can even cause amblyopia (Lazy Eye).
  • Side Vision Test – when looking straight ahead, can you see pretty well way over to the left and right? How well do you see things in your side vision? This test of your peripheral vision can turn up issues caused by health issues such as optic neuritis, stroke, glaucoma, diabetes, brain tumors, and multiple sclerosis.
  • Auto-Refractor – this device utilizes an image of a hot air balloon at the end of a country highway to measure the refractive state of your eye when it is relaxed. The data we get from this test serves as a starting point for refraction.
  • Auto-Keratometry – this computerized test determines if your cornea is spherical like a marble or warped like an egg. This can help the doctor dial in the astigmatism in your glasses prescription.
  • Air Puff Test – this test is an important health screener for glaucoma. We do not puff air in your for the sheer joy of watching people flinch; eye doctors do this to determine the pressure inside of your eye. Elevated eye pressure is a leading risk factor for developing glaucoma – so eye pressure is measured at every eye health exam. This data can also be measured using eye drops in a procedure called Goldman Tonometry. Most patients prefer the air puff test to Goldman.
  • Refraction – this is the old “one-or-two test’ that optometrists are kind of known for. We will show you a number of lens options to zero in on the optimal lens power for your glasses. The process of showing different lens options to the patient and getting their input allows us to dial in your prescription in a stepwise fashion.
  • Eye Health Exam – this is where the eye doctor will use a specialized microscope-like device called a ‘Slit Lamp’ to examine your eyes with light and significant magnification. We will check the health of your lids, conjunctiva, sclera, cornea, lens, vitreous, optic nerve head, and macula at every routine eye exam. Patients will be informed of any findings that are not within normal limits; treatments or other interventions may be discussed.
  • Dilation – the doctors at Cannon EyeCare try to strike a balance here. There are some practices that dilate every patient every year – which is overkill in our professional opinion. Dilation is not really that much fun for patients and healthy eyes in healthy people don’t typically change quickly. Dilating patients at every annual eye exam unnecessarily inconveniences the patient with the unpleasant side effects of dilation (blurred vision and light sensitivity for 3-5 hours) without elevating the quality of our care.
    Conversely, there are some practices that almost never dilate patients. All these docs seem to care about is getting patients out to the optical quickly so they can sell another pair of glasses. This mode of practice is at the opposite extreme is also not reasonable; pathology can easily be missed if you don’t look for it periodically. The eye doctors at Cannon EyeCare tend to dilate normal healthy patients every three to four years in attempt to strike a healthy balance between these two extremes.
  • Summary of eye exam/ conclusion. Like any good book author, we strive to wrap things up in a concise manner at the end. Your optometrist will likely touch base on the things you had discussed at the start of your visit. Any relevant exam findings – refractive or eye-health related- will be discussed and any interventions clearly explained. You will also likely be told when we plan to see you back, which is typically in one year for your annual eye exam. Other patients may be seen again sooner if they need follow-up for medical eye conditions.
  • Invoice/ Billing. If you would like documentation of your visit’s billing notes, we can easily print that for you. The eye doctors at Cannon EyeCare strive to be very upfront about expected fees. If they learn during an eye exam that an eyelash is pointed at your cornea and causing problems, they will discuss what was found and the fix (pulling the lash, known as Epilation). They will give you an estimated cost for said procedure and try to predict if insurance would pay for it prior to actually pulling the lash. See below for insurance info.
  • Insurance. We are in network with the major local health insurance companies. Cannon EyeCare does not accept any 3rd party vision insurance plans such as VSP due to unreasonable contractual stipulations.


  • Premera Blue Cross
  • Regence Blue Shield
  • Regence Group Administrators
  • Lifewise
  • Group Health’s PPO plans
  • HMA: Health Management Associates
  • Bridgespan
  • Asuris
  • Out of state BC/Blue Shield (routine vision exams typically not covered)


  • VSP: Vision Service Plan
  • EyeMed
  • Spectera
  • Davis
  • Cigna
  • Aetna
  • United Health
  • Medicare/Medicaid
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • First Choice Health

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