Detect These 4 Conditions with Regular Eye Exams
With June being Cataract Awareness Month, it’s a great time to bring attention to this and other conditions that cause vision loss. An estimated 24million Americans are currently dealing with cataracts, most of them over the age of 40.
In the hustle and bustle of 21st-Century life, it’s easy to push off an eye exam if you feel as if your eyes and vision are in good shape. But that’s a risky bet. The American Optometric Association recommends that adults under the age of 59, who are at low risk for developing vision problems, have an eye exam at least every 18-24 months. Adults over the age of 60, or those at higher risk for developing vision problems should have a comprehensive eye evaluation every year.
Besides the obvious benefit of keeping your vision in good shape, an annual eye exam can detect signs of serious vision problems. Cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma, and even retinal detachment can cause relatively mild symptoms at first. However, without regular comprehensive eye evaluations from a licensed Doctor of Optometry, these conditions can and do lead to vision loss.
Even if you’re under the recommended age bracket and at a low-risk for diseases that could cause vision loss, a yearly exam is a great way to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to your eye health. Here are some of the more common eye conditions that can go undetected without regular eye exams:
Many of us will have to deal with cataracts at some point in our lives. As we age, the lens of the eye can become less clear. This “clouding” of the eye makes it difficult to read, to recognize shapes and words from a distance, and even causes difficulty driving. While surgery is the only treatment for cataracts, it’s a relatively minor procedure taking only about 20 minutes. Roughly 1% of Americans undergo surgery for cataracts each year.
Though it gets mentioned in the media for different reasons, glaucoma is one of the less talked-about vision-related conditions. In fact, this disease of the optic nerve can cause no symptoms at all. It’s vitally important to the long-term treatment of glaucoma that it be diagnosed early.
“Though it be small, it be mighty.” The macula is the tiny portion in the center of the retina that’s responsible for the sharpness of your vision. As we age, this section of the retina can be affected. However, there are treatments that can help control vision loss if macular degeneration is detected early.
It’s hard to imagine that you wouldn’t notice a part of your body detaching, but the symptoms of retinal detachment can occur very gradually. If the retina becomes detached from the tissues that support it, vision loss can occur because the retina is unable to function. The quicker this condition is discovered, the better the chance for maintaining vision.
Besides regular comprehensive eye exams from a licensed Doctor of Optometry, the best way to ensure you hang on to good vision for as long as possible is to care for your eyes. Eat a healthy diet full of dark leafy greens and foods high in omega-3 fatty acids. Exercise regularly to improve your blood circulation and oxygen levels. Whenever possible, avoid eyestrain and be sure to wear sunglasses with UV protection when you go outdoors.
If you’re in need of a regular eye exam, or if you’re experiencing any symptoms of vision loss or discomfort, call our office today at 239.263.6677 to schedule your premium eye evaluation with our independent Doctors of Optometry.