Many people easily forget to have their annual eye exam completed. With busy schedules, we often view all of our medical teams as necessary when there is a problem to solve. However, even when you feel like there aren’t any issues, it is important to see your eye doctor every year for a comprehensive exam.
Identifying Unknown Problems
Eye doctors spend years to be able to identify a variety of issues that may be occurring with your eyes. Their exams can help to uncover infections before they are bad or to start treating a degenerative disease more quickly to help save your eyesight. Your optometrist will also make sure to check for any conditions or diseases that you wouldn’t be able to detect on your own.
Changes to Your Prescription
If you do have some type of a corrective lens, it is important to get checked annually to make sure that your prescription is still a good fit for you. As our eyes change, we often don’t even notice the subtle changes that crisp and clear vision offers. Your annual exam serves as a checkpoint to keep your vision sharp.
Contact lens wearers may also have a change in the shape of their eye that makes their contacts less comfortable or more prone to fall out. Your exam will also take precise measurements to get you in the best possible lenses for your eyes at the time.
Dilation of the Eyes
Your eye doctor may also want to dilate your eyes. They apply drops into each eye that causes the pupil to expand. This helps them identify potential issues like glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, or damaged blood vessels. These conditions can damage the eye with no changes in your vision for years to come. However, the damage cannot be reversed, so catching it early can help stop or slow the progression and minimize long-term problems.
In addition to checking for these conditions, your optometrist can also see if you have choroidal melanoma. This is life-threatening cancer that is detected during the dilation of the eyes. Cancers of the eye and brain often don’t present with any major symptoms except for blurry vision. However, early detection leads to the highest possibility of a positive outcome.
Age and Eye Exams
Children should start getting an annual eye exam when they are in kindergarten unless there are any other conditions that would warrant an earlier visit. If your child is not in kindergarten, but you suspect that there is an issue, talk to your pediatrician or call and schedule an appointment today.
Once children reach school age, regular eye exams are important to help them learn in the classroom. Children that can’t see objects that are farther away are more likely to fall behind in the classroom even though they have the potential to succeed. If there is a sudden change in your child’s attention or grades at school, consider that they may not be able to see and participate.
This can be a frustrating issue for children, but fortunately, it can usually be corrected with glasses and get them back to learning!
As we age, it continues to be important to get regular appointments. The risk of glaucoma and other eye diseases increases at 40 years old. Getting a regular appointment can help with early detection and intervention.
If you’ve been holding off on scheduling your annual comprehensive eye exam, don’t put it off any longer. Call today to schedule an appointment and ensure that your eyes are in perfect health. If you have any concerns or questions, talk to our staff now.