Adult surveys reveal that one of the biggest fears Americans have, second to getting cancer, is the loss of their vision.
By: Dr. Ted Archdale
Adult surveys reveal that one of the biggest fears Americans have, second to getting cancer, is the loss of their vision. The usual comment, however, is: “I see fine, why do I need an eye exam?” Different stages of life and certain medical conditions, along with the aging eye, provide reasons for the need of an eye exam for early detection of issues to reduce the possibility of vision loss. During your eye exam, the doctor will inform you how often you should have an eye exam based on your individual needs.
When is an eye exam recommended? An infant or toddler will not know what “normal” vision is. So when children have vision problems, they may go undetected which can delay development or manifest behavior problems. Uncorrected, these vision issues could end up being permanent. Even if kids are unable to talk, eye exams can be performed. If you suspect an issue in your infant or toddler, schedule an eye exam as soon as possible.
Studies tell us that learning is 70% visual, so as children reach school age, if they have vision issues, they may do poorly in school. Schools do vision screenings, but many kids with vision issues are missed due to lack of training of the screeners. A professional eye exam should be done prior to children starting school and is usually recommended between the ages of three and four. To ensure a student’s success in school, an eye exam every one to two years is recommended.
As we grow older eye exams are needed more for specific reasons. People that develop systemic diseases like hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, and thyroid disease need more frequent eye exams due to possible complications from those conditions. But for healthy asymptomatic teens and adults, an eye exam every two years is recommended.
Lastly, the aging eye has an increased possibility of different eye conditions, such as cataracts and macular degeneration, and in the early stages, patients may not have symptoms. So after the age of 60, annual eye exams are highly recommended to detect and prevent vision loss.
Technological advances have improved accuracy and convenience during an eye exam and in most cases with the use of The Optomap, a digital retinal imaging technology, annoying dilation drops usually are not necessary.
Having an eye exam gives you the peace of mind that you are protecting your vision and are taking preventative measures to not lose your vision. Call and make your appointment today!