Some people put off regular comprehensive eye examinations unless they have a visual issue or eye discomfort or are told to see an optometrist by one of their doctors. They may do this to save money or because they simply do not feel that they need this care. This article will explain some primary reasons to get regular eye care from an optometrist.
Eye Exams and Disease Prevention
Many eye conditions are asymptomatic until they have progressed far along their course, and preventative eye care helps to catch these issues before it is too late. Especially in structures as precious as the eyes, it pays to prevent conditions rather than trying to clean up the mess after they have done their damage.
Regular eye care can help to educate you on what you should and should not be doing to protect your eyes and keep them maximally healthy. This might include, for example, dietary and lifestyle instructions to reduce the likelihood of macular degeneration. Interventions like sunglasses or sunscreen on the eyelids might also be discussed to prevent sun damage and eye cancer.
Preventative care is particularly important in children. If there is something going on to limit the visual input to an eye, perhaps through an eye turn, congenital cataract, or high glasses prescription in that eye, amblyopia results.
Amblyopia is when the brain does not make connections during early childhood brain development to the affected eye, so that even if the issue is corrected later on, the eye fails to see properly. Again, this is easily prevented with an eye examination to catch and manage the underlying issue and deliver a lifetime of healthy vision to the child. Therapies like myopia control can also begin in childhood to maintain healthy eyes later on in life.
Eye Conditions (like glaucoma) Need Treatment
If a condition cannot be outright prevented, the next best thing is to limit the damage it can do with early treatment. Damage from disease in many parts of the eye is irreversible, and vision can thus be permanently affected.
Regular comprehensive eye health examinations help to catch issues and get them treated before they steal vision. In glaucoma, for example, peripheral vision is slowly taken away as tissue in the back of the eye is damaged by increased eye pressure.
With regular eye examinations, this process would be caught and treated to lower the eye pressure and limit further damage and vision loss.
There are other examples that demonstrate the need for routine eye care. Even in normal examinations without patient symptoms, retinal tears can be found that, if left alone, can progress to retinal detachments that can cause devastating vision loss. If they are found early, they can be easily treated to prevent detachment.
Systemic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure can manifest first in the eye. Catching early signs of them can facilitate beginning treatment for them before any dangerous issues with the rest of the body arise.
Don’t Settle for So-So Vision When You Can Have HD Vision!
In addition to enhancing prevention and early treatment of serious eye diseases, an eye examination keeps you seeing at your best by showing you what your vision can be if it is maximally corrected with glasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery. You may not notice that your vision has become blurry due to prescription change because the process is so gradual, but the change to clear vision in an eye examination is instant.
During a routine visit, our optometrist might also discuss new technologies, products, or research that can help you see your best and healthiest in your daily activities. This could include a new type of contact lens that would be more comfortable for your eyes, for example.