The team at Vista Eye Specialists understands that scheduling doctors’ appointments, including eye exams, is difficult for anyone with a busy lifestyle. However, your eye health and vision deserve your attention, and we cannot overstate the importance of making and keeping eye exam appointments. Not only are these exams critical to your ability to see well, they are also an essential part of overall preventive health care.
Read on as our team reveals three reasons why it is crucial to get an annual eye exam.
Exams Can Catch Eye Disease Early
One of the most important reasons to have eye exams regularly is so your eye doctor can catch and treat any eye disease early, before it has damaged the structures of your eye and caused vision loss.
A great example is glaucoma, which is a particularly sneaky disease. Often there are no noticeable changes in vision during the early stages of glaucoma, so there is no way to know something is wrong with your eyes — unless you have an eye exam, which tests your intraocular pressure. If the exam reveals elevated pressure inside your eye, your eye doctor can immediately suggest means to control it and prevent the disease from damaging your optic nerve and causing irreversible vision loss.
Exams Can Reveal Clues About Your General Health
Eye exams are also a useful way to get clues about your general health. A look into your eyes can reveal signs of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Some eye exams have even revealed signs of cancer before any other test could! As with eye disease, catching these systemic health problems offers the best chance of treating them early, before they cause serious complications.
Sometimes We Aren’t Consciously Aware of Declining Vision
On a day-to-day basis, it is very difficult to notice the small visual changes occurring in our eyes. We may not realize that there is an opportunity to see better and improve our quality of life. But by getting your eyes examined regularly, your doctor can measure your vision and track it over time to detect small changes that you don’t notice. The doctor can then suggest when it might be time to change your glasses or contact lens prescription, or suggest another solution (i.e., LASIK) so that you can see as well as possible.
For most people, the general rule of thumb is to get an eye exam every year. However, you might have special needs that require exams more frequently, so be sure to always follow your eye doctor’s personalized recommendations for your eyes.