Our eyes are to be treated with the same care as we would treat the rest of our body. Regular eye exams are extremely important because our eyes change over time and could develop minor eye illnesses that could evolve into something worse. A comprehensive eye exam by your eye doctor is crucial to detect these diseases before it's too late.
There is a difference between a standard vision screening and a full eye exam. Vision screenings are quick vision tests, like reading letters from far distances, to determine if you are seeing correctly. A full eye exam on the other hand is performed by an optometrist or ophthalmologist to do a both a vision screening and tests to assess your eyes’ health.
Here are a few reasons to visit the eye doctor annually even if you do not feel that you are having any issues:
Non-eye related illnesses
While the eyes serve their own purpose, giving us the ability to see, they are also the windows to many other body parts. During an eye exam, the doctor assesses your blood vessels, eye pressure, eye dryness, and your eye shape that could indicate other issues arising. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the following eye conditions have the ability to be detected during an eye exam:
- High Blood Pressure
- Thyroid Disease
- Vitamin A Deficiency
There are other conditions that can be assessed as well, but these are some of the most common conditions that can be traced through regular eye exams. Some of these illnesses do not have obvious warning signs, so scheduling consistent exams for both your eyes and general health are important to ensure that your body is functioning properly.
Detects potential eye problems
Along with having the ability to look into other health issues, an eye assessment’s main purpose is to determine any eye diseases or issues. While there are many eye issues that are easily treated with simple correction or medication, there are more serious illnesses that could lead to eye pain or even vision loss.
While determining if your vision has started to deteriorate is one thing, but it is nearly impossible to know if your eye pressure or shape has changed without a medical professional taking a look. If illnesses and diseases are caught early, treatment is usually more successful.
Waiting until you notice symptoms or the pain becomes unbearable can lead to irreversible damage because there are many eye diseases that do not progress until years or even decades after first appearing. Complete vision loss due to these diseases can be avoided with complete eye exams every year or so.
Tracks eye progression
While you might not have any noticeable eye problems now, an annual eye exam provides detailed tracking of your vision and overall eye condition. This will help in the future if any eye problems do arise to see the change over time.
Starting eye exams early is important because many children do not have their eyes tested even though vision problems can start early in life. They do not have to have exams as regular as older people do, but it is important to start tracking vision progression early.
It is also important to establish an account of your eye progression now in case you move from one doctor to another. Having a medical history will give your new provider somewhere to start to provide accurate care tailored to your eyes specifically.
There might be a vision issue
Just because you think you can see clearly does not mean that your vision is necessarily 20/20. People can adapt to seeing the world blurred and do not fully understand their lack of vision until a doctor points it out. Visiting the doctor on a regular schedule will help to detect any potential vision loss that you are unable to determine on your own. You will also be able to get a prescription for any corrective lenses you may need.
If you are having issues seeing at certain times of the day, during certain activities like reading, or from specific distances, it is a good idea to schedule a vision check-up to ensure that your eyes are not straining more than they should.