Most people get their car checked annually and visit the dentist regularly to get their teeth cleaned. But how many of you get your eyes checked each year? Routine exams are very important regardless of age or physical health. Although some eye experts may disagree on how often patients should have their eyes examined, it couldn’t be any more true that everyone should have a regular eye exam that includes both vision testing and eye health evaluation.
During a comprehensive exam, the eye doctor will not only determine the prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses, but will also check common diseases and assess them as an indicator of the patient’s overall health.
Who should get their eyes examined?
Adults should get their eyes checked to keep their prescriptions current and check for early signs of disease. Meanwhile, children should also get checked regularly because it can play an important role in normal vision development and academic achievement.
What is the doctor checking for?
Eye doctors don’t only check nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. They also check the patient for eye diseases and other complications that can lead to vision loss. Here are some examples of the conditions that your doctor will be looking for:
• Refractive error. This refers to nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Refractive errors can be corrected with eyeglasses, contacts, or even with refractive surgery.
• Amblyopia. Also called lazy eye, is a disorder of sight. It is a medical term used when the vision is reduced because the eye and the brain are not working together properly. The eye may look normal, but it is not being used normally simply because the brain is favouring the other eye.
• Strabismus. Strabismus is defined as crossed or turned eyes. During a comprehensive exam, the doctor checks the alignment to be sure that they are working together. Strabismus causes problems with depth perception and can lead to Amblyopia.
• Hypertension. Also known as high blood pressure is a systemic issue that can affect the eyes in a number of ways. Doctors can detect signs of hypertension just by looking in the back of the eye during a comprehensive eye exam.
• Diabetes. Another systemic issue that can affect the eyes and lead to blindness is diabetes. People with this type of disease are advised to have an annual exam to check for diabetic retinopathy.
A regular exam is vital for seeing more clearly and learning more easily.