The Importance of Seeing Your Eye Doctor
An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away
You know the saying... just as your physical health requires routine exams from your family physician, so too does your eye health require an annual or bi annual exam to ensure your vision remains intact.
Studies including a 2003 study published by the Global Campaign Report on Early Detection discovered that much of the population remains largely unaware of how important routine eye exams are to their health and well being. In many countries people at increased risk for vision loss are unaware of the risks of certain eye diseases, therefore fail to take advantage of early detection measures available from eye care professionals.
The study conducted by the Global Campaign Report suggested most people failed to get regular check ups in part because they did not feel anything was wrong with their eyes. However, even if your eyes seem to function well, it is important you get annual or at least bi-annual exams to help predict and detect problems down the road early on.
Typically vision loss results when a disease has already established a stronghold. A much better treatment approach to vision loss includes addressing symptoms before they occur not after. Most people assume that lack of vision loss suggests proper eye health, but this may or may not be true.
Recommendations For Routine Eye Exams
Early detection of diseases is vital for your health and well-being. Here are some guidelines provided by the American Academy of Ophthalmology for scheduling routine eye appointments:
Keep in mind, the earlier a problem is detected the better chance your eye care professional will have addressing and resolving the problem.
- For those under age 40, schedule eye exams roughly two to four years if you have no symptoms of any visual disturbances.
- People age 40 to 64 with no vision loss may also get eye exams roughly every two years.
- After age 65, consider an annual or at minimum bi-annual eye exam. If you experience symptoms of vision loss, see your eye care provider for a recommendation regarding treatments and routine eye exams.
Typical Eye Exam
An eye exam is easier than you think. Most people can complete a full vision screen and eye exam in less than an hour. Here is a break down of the common components or ingredients of a good eye exam:
Your doctor may or may not recommend other tests depending on the outcomes of the primary tests recommended above. Most times people find their vision is fine or suitably addressed with a moderate prescription lens. If at any time you experience symptoms including loss of vision, blurring, spots or floaters before your eyes or other unusual symptoms be sure you contact your eye care professional immediately for a comprehensive exam.
- Visual acuity - Your eye care professional will first assess your visual acuity by assessing your ability to see at multiple distances. This may help identify whether you are near or far sighted or have astigmatism.
- Dilation - Most times an eye doctors will dilate your pupils so they can examine the retina of the eye for early symptoms of eye disease or potential vision loss. This may cause some temporary visual disturbance that resolves within a few hours.
- Amsler Grid Test - This test helps your doctor determine whether you may have early signs and symptoms of vision loss of complicated disorders including macular degeneration. During this exam you cover one eye and locate a black dot in the center of a checkered grid. Your doctor will assess the way you see the grid and whether lines appear straight, missing or wavy.
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