Maintenance is the Key to Good Eye Health
If virtually everyone agrees that your strong vision and good eye health is extremely important, why is it that a surprisingly large number of people put off an annual or bi-annual visit to their eye care professional? Caring for your eyes is just as important as general physical health – if not more so – and deserves the same attention to routine exams to maintain.
Studies have shown that many people don’t schedule regular check-ups because they didn’t think anything was wrong with their eyes. That is not a good approach. A visit to your eye care professional can play a pivotal role in early detection of potential eye sight problems.
Typically, vision loss results when a disease has established a stronghold, which is all the more reason to see an eye doctor for early detection of a potential problem. Most people assume that lack of vision loss suggests proper eye health, but that isn’t always accurate.
Some easy guidelines provided by the American Academy of Ophthalmology for scheduling routine eye appointments are:
For those under age 40, schedule an eye exam approximately every two to four years if there are no noticeable problems with your vision.
For people ages 40 to 64 with no vision loss, schedule eye exams roughly every two years.
After age 65, consider an annual or at minimum bi-annual eye exam. If there are any symptoms of vision loss, see your eye care provider for a recommendation regarding treatments and further eye exams.
Keep in mind, the earlier a problem is detected the better chance your eye care professional will have addressing and resolving the problem.
The typical eye exam and full vision screening, usually lasts less than an hour and commonly includes the following during the exam:
Visual acuity – Your eye care professional will assess your visual acuity by evaluating your ability to see at multiple distances. This will help identify whether you are near or far sighted or have astigmatism.
Dilation – Most eye doctors will dilate your pupils to examine the retina 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 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 evaluate the way you see the grid and whether lines appear straight, missing or wavy.
Your doctor may or may not recommend other tests depending on the results of the initial tests mentioned above. Often patients learn 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.
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