Why Routine Eye Exams Are Important
Many people treat eye exams the same way they would a common cold or flu virus – they only make an appointment when they’re feeling bad. But only calling your optometrist when you’re not seeing well could mean that you’re missing out on all the benefits of routine eye exams.
During the course of a comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor is doing much more than just determining whether you need glasses. Your optometrist will also check to see how well your eyes are working together, evaluate the physical condition of your eyes as a key indicator of overall health, and also check your eyes for symptoms of common eye-related diseases.
Besides more common vision conditions like cataracts and macular degeneration, a routine eye exam can also help your optometrist to detect chronic systemic diseases like diabetes or high blood pressure. In fact, eye doctors are often times the first health care professionals to detect symptoms of diabetes – which is the third leading cause of blindness in the United States.
So, Who Should Get Their Eyes Examined?
Regardless of your age, physical health, or your history of vision correction, yearly eye exams are key for maintaining good vision health. Even if you already wear corrective lenses or have undergone laser vision correction surgery, a yearly eye exam is important for keeping prescriptions current and to ensure your vision is the best it can be.
Yearly eye exams are equally important for children, as well. More than 12million school-age children have some form of vision-related trouble, but only 14% of all school-age children receive a comprehensive eye exam before entering kindergarten or first grade.
In many cases, children are unlikely to complain about or even notice changes in their vision, because they simply don’t always know what “normal” vision looks like. To ensure proper vision development and to maintain the visual acuity needed for schoolwork, sports, and other activities, children should see an optometrist at least once per year.
What Will Your Eye Doctor Check for?
While many people believe a simple vision screening is adequate for maintaining good eye health, it’s no substitute for a comprehensive eye evaluation. During your eye exam, your optometrist will not only evaluate your eyes for glasses or contact lenses, but your eyes will also be checked for diseases or other problems that could lead to vision loss. Here are a few examples of conditions your optometrist will be looking for:
- Common Eye Diseases. Some common conditions such as diabetic retinopathy may have little or no symptoms in the early stages. The best way to stay on top of these conditions is to detect them early with routine eye exams.
- Refractive Error. This is the scientific way of defining conditions like astigmatism, nearsightedness, or farsightedness. Refractive errors are corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses.
- Focusing Problems. Though these are very commonly found in children who are still developing, adults can also experience focusing problems in the form of age-related presbyopia.
- Teaming Issues. Your eyes are two independent organs each with their own set of complex muscle and nerve groups. Even if it appears that your eyes are aligned properly, it could be that they aren’t teaming (or working together) properly. Vision problems like these can cause eye strain, neck pain, trouble reading, and even headaches.
- Vision-Related Symptoms of Other Health Problems. Routine eye exams are often the first line of detection for conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol. In addition to helping you get these conditions under control, early detection can often make treating these health problems much more affordable.
What Should You Do Next?
If you’ve gone more than a year without a comprehensive eye exam, call us now to make your appointment with one of our independent doctors of optometry. At your exam, be sure to mention any recurring vision problems, any changes in your physical health, and any history of vision-related diseases.
After your premium eye evaluation, our team of licensed opticians can help get you fitted for the perfect pair of designer frames and help you choose the best options from our selection of the latest in digital lens technology.