Routine eye exams are one of the most important tools your eye doctor has for keeping tabs on your vision health, and providing you with the best eye care possible. It’s also the perfect opportunity for your eye doctor to catch any issue with your eye health at an earlier stage, and address them before major problems can develop down the line. Your routine eye exam only requires a small investment of time on your part, and yet the eye care benefits are more than worth the effort. Ahead, we’ll take a closer look at the benefits of annual eye exams – including a few that you may not expect.
Proactive Eye Health Care: Why Everyone Should Have a Routine Eye Exam
Base on your age and eye health, your eye doctor will help to pick a routine exam schedule that is right for you. The first thing you’ll notice about your eye exam is that it’s very thorough, because your eye doctor will test every aspect of your vision health. That includes big-ticket items like visual acuity, but your doctor will also examine your eye pressure, the health of your optic nerve, your side vision, and even the way your eyes move.
- Catching Vision Problems Early – By periodically testing every aspect of your eye health, your eye doctor can identify changes in your vision over time. Many common vision problems, including cataracts, develop without causing any pain or apparent symptom at first, so your routine eye exam is the key for early detection.
- Feeling the Pressure – Patients are often surprised to learn that measuring eye pressure is an important part of regular eye exams. This part of the exam is primarily used to screen for glaucoma, which can cause elevated eye pressure.
- Updating Your Prescriptions – Vision health changes over time, so your prescription strength for glasses or contacts may need to be adjusted periodically. A thorough eye exam provides your doctor with the personalized health data they need to make sure your prescription strength provides the best results possible.
- Checking for Presbyopia – After age 40, adults begin to develop presbyopia, which is the reason that most adults need reading or computer glasses by age 40 or 50. The good news is that presbyopia is typically simple to address during your routine exam.
- Working Together – In addition to checking your eyes individually, your doctor will make sure that they work well as a team. If your eyes aren’t working together efficiently, you may experience headaches, and difficulty with near vision, so teamwork is important.
- Checking for Health Issues – Some health conditions, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, may cause unwanted changes to your eye health as well. Your regular eye exam provides an opportunity for early detection, especially for diabetes.
- More than a Screening – It’s important to note that a comprehensive routine eye exam is different from a vision screening. While screenings are useful, they’re significantly less thorough than annual eye exams. A full comprehensive exam will generally last anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes, and will test every aspect of your vision.
Scheduling and attending your annual eye exam won’t require much time on your part, so there’s no reason to delay. And if you haven’t had a routine comprehensive exam for over one year or longer, there’s still time to get your eye health care back on schedule. After all, life is not enjoyable without good vision health. Your eyes are worth it!