Valley Vision Clinic

22 W Main St

Walla Walla, WA 99362

509-529-2020 (phone/text)

509-529-2115 (fax)

Open Monday thru Friday at 8am





Voted Walla Walla's

Best Vision Center 


Comprehensive Eye Exams

Periodic eye and vision exams are a fundamental part of preventive health maintenance. Many different eye and vision conditions have no noticeable indicators or symptoms. As a result, individuals often don’t know that problems are present. Early diagnosis and treatment at Valley Vision Clinic of eye and vision concerns are crucial for sustaining excellent vision and eye health, and when attainable, helping prevent vision loss.

Eye Care Patient History Before an Eye Exam

A patient history really helps to establish all symptoms the individual is experiencing, at what time they began, the presence of any kind of fundamental health conditions, prescription medications being taken and occupational or environmental conditions that may be affecting vision. Our Doctors will likely ask about any eye or vision problems you may be having and about your overall health. Our Doctors will also ask about any former eye or health issues of you and your family.

Checking Your Visual Acuity 

Reading charts are often used to determine visual acuity. Visual acuity measurements analyze how precisely each eye is seeing. As a component of the testing, you are usually asked to read letters on distance and near reading charts. The outcomes of visual acuity testing are written as a fraction like 20/40.

When assessing distance vision, the top number in the fraction is the common distance at which testing is done, twenty feet. The lower number is the smallest letter size you were able to read. A person with 20/40 visual acuity would have to get within twenty feet of a letter that should be seen at 40 feet to see it properly. Standard distance visual acuity is 20/20.

Preliminary Tests

Preliminary testing may include investigation of specified elements of visual performance and eye health such as depth perception, color vision, eye muscle movements, peripheral or side vision, and the way your pupils react to light.


Keratometry Vision Test

This test computes the curvature of the cornea, the transparent outside area of the eye, by directing a circle of light on the cornea and measuring its reflection. This measurement is extremely significant in figuring out the appropriate fit for contact lenses.

Refraction Vision Test

Ascertaining refractive error with a phoropter and retinoscope. Refraction is performed to establish the applicable lens power needed to compensate for any refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism). Making use of an instrument called a phoropter, your eye doctor places a set of lenses before your eyes and assesses how they focus light utilizing a hand held lighted instrument termed a retinoscope. Our Doctors may decide to utilize an automated instrument that automatically analyzes the focusing strength of the eye. The power is then refined by the person's feedback to determine the lenses that provide for the best vision.

This examination may be completed without the use of eye drops to find out in what way the eyes respond under common seeing conditions. Sometimes, for instance for individuals who aren't able to respond verbally or when some of the eyes focusing strength could be concealed, eye drops are used. The drops temporarily keep the eyes from changing focus while the examination is performed.

Eye Focusing, Eye Teaming, and Eye Movement Testing

Assessment of accommodation, ocular motility and binocular vision establishes how effectively the eyes focus, move and work together. So as to obtain a distinct, singular image of what is being viewed, the eyes must correctly change focus, move and work in unison. This evaluation will search for issues that prevent your eyes from focusing proficiently or make using both eyes together challenging.

Eye Health Evaluation

Exterior examination of the eye includes evaluation of the cornea, eyelids, conjunctiva and bordering eye tissue utilizing intense light and magnification. Appraisal of the lens, retina and posterior part of the eye could be carried out by using a dilated pupil to provide a better picture of the internal structures of the eye. Assessment of pressure within the eye (tonometry) is completed. Standard eye pressures range from 10 to 21 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), averaging about 14 to 16 mm Hg. Any individual with eye pressure greater than 22 mm Hg is at an increased likelihood of developing glaucoma, even though lots of people with standard pressure also develop glaucoma.

Pediatric Eye Exams

According to experts, 80% of learning is visual, which means that if your child is having difficulty seeing clearly, his or her learning can be affected. This also goes for infants who develop and learn about the world around them through their sense of sight. To ensure that your children have the visual resources they need to grow and develop normally, their eyes and vision should be checked by an eye doctor at certain stages of their development.

According to the American Optometric Association (AOA) children should have their eyes examined by an eye doctor at 6 months, 3 years, at the start of school, and then at least every 2 years following. If there are any signs that there may be a vision problem or if the child has certain risk factors (such as developmental delays, premature birth, crossed or lazy eyes, family history or previous injuries) more frequent exams are recommended. A child that wears eyeglasses or contact lenses should have his or her eyes examined yearly. Children’s eyes can change rapidly as they grow.

Eye Exams in Infants: Birth – 24 Months

A baby’s visual system develops gradually over the first few months of life. They have to learn to focus and move their eyes, and use them together as a team. The brain also needs to learn how to process the visual information from the eyes to understand and interact with the world. With the development of eyesight, comes also the foundation for motor development such as crawling, walking and hand-eye coordination.

You can ensure that your baby is reaching milestones by keeping an eye on what is happening with your infant’s development and by ensuring that you schedule a comprehensive infant eye exam at 6 months. At this exam, the eye doctor will check that the child is seeing properly and developing on track and look for conditions that could impair eye health or vision, such as crossing of the eyes, farsightedness, nearsightedness, or astigmatism.

Since there is a higher risk of eye and vision problems if your infant was born premature or is showing signs of developmental delay, your eye doctor may require more frequent visits to keep watch on his or her progress.

Eye Exams in Preschool Children: 2-5

The toddler and preschool age is a period where children experience drastic growth in intellectual and motor skills. During this time, they will develop the fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination and perceptual abilities that will prepare them to read and write, play sports and participate in creative activities such as drawing, sculpting or building. This is all dependent upon good vision and visual processes.

This is the age when parents should be on the lookout for signs of lazy eye (amblyopia) – when one eye doesn’t see clearly, or crossed eyes (strabismus) – when one or both eyes turns inward or outward. The earlier these conditions are treated, the higher the success rate.

Parents should also be aware of any developmental delays having to do with object, number or letter recognition, color recognition or coordination, as the root of such problems can often be visual. If you notice your child squinting, rubbing his eyes frequently, sitting very close to the tv or reading material, or generally avoiding activities such as puzzles or coloring, it is worth a trip to the eye doctor.

Eye Exams in School-Aged Children: Ages 6-18

Undetected or uncorrected vision problems can cause children and teens to suffer academically, socially, athletically and personally. If your child is having trouble in school or afterschool activities there could be an underlying vision problem. Proper learning, motor development, reading, and many other skills are dependent upon not only good vision, but also the ability of your eyes to work together. Children that have problems with focusing, reading, teaming their eyes or hand-eye coordination will often experience frustration, and may exhibit behavioral problems as well. Often they don’t know that the vision they are experiencing is abnormal, so they aren’t able to express that they need help.

In addition to the symptoms written above, signs of vision problems in older children include:

  • Short attention span
  • Headaches
  • Frequent blinking
  • Avoiding reading
  • Tilting the head to one side
  • Losing their place often while reading
  • Double vision
  • Poor reading comprehension


The Eye Exam

In addition to basic visual acuity (distance and near vision) an eye exam may assess the following visual skills that are required for learning and mobility:

  • Binocular vision: how the eyes work together as a team
  • Focusing
  • Peripheral Vision
  • Color Vision
  • Hand-eye Coordination
  • Tracking

The doctor will also examine the area around the eye and inside the eye to check for any eye diseases or health conditions. You should tell the doctor any relevant personal history of your child such as a premature birth, developmental delays, family history of eye problems, eye injuries or medications the child is taking. This would also be the time to address any concerns or issues your child has that might indicate a vision problem.

If the eye doctor does determine that your child has a vision problem, they may discuss a number of therapeutic options such as eyeglasses or contact lenses, an eye patch, vision therapy or Ortho-k, depending on the condition and the doctor’s specialty. Since some conditions are much easier to treat when they are caught early while the eyes are still developing, it is important to diagnose any eye and vision issues as early as possible.

Following the guidelines for children’s eye exams and staying alert to any signs of vision problems can help your child to reach his or her potential.