Just like visiting the doctor once a year for a physical, visiting your eye doctor is an important part of health maintenance for everyone— from kids to adults.
During a comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor does much more than just determine your prescription for glasses or contacts. He or she will also check your eyes for common health issues, assess how your eyes work together as a team, and evaluate your eyes as an indicator of your overall health. Eye doctors are often the first healthcare professionals to detect many chronic diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
Just as adults need to visit to stay up-to-date with current eye health and eye doctor visits, children’s eye exams are equally as important to ensure normal vision development. Vision issues can not only impact everyday activities but can also impede an individual’s progress in school and other activities.
In an article written by Gary Heiting, OD, an eye care provider with over 20 years of experience, he said, “Children don’t always know what ‘normal’ vision looks like, so they’re unlikely to complain of vision problems. However, because vision is so closely linked to the learning process, undetected, learning-related vision problems can lead to trouble with school work. If your child is performing poorly at school, be sure to have his or her eyes examined by an eye doctor who specializes in children’s vision to rule out an underlying visual cause.”
What can you expect from visiting the eye doctor?
The eye doctor is checking for many things. Aside from the aforementioned diseases and issues, he or she will evaluate your need for contacts or glasses, eye diseases, and issues that could eventually lead to vision loss. A few of the conditions your optometrist could be checking for include Refractive Error (nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism), Amblyopia (when eyes are misaligned and can result in permanent vision impairment), Strabismus (crossed or turned eyes), Eye Teaming, Focusing, age-related issues, and other diseases. Some of them can be detected by looking at eyes blood vessels, retina, and various other indicators.
How can eye exams reduce my healthcare cost? Health care costs are often reduced because of the early detection that can occur during a regular eye doctor visit.
What do I do following my eye exam?
Your optometrist will give you a personalized treatment plan, such as a prescription for glasses or contact lenses to correct vision errors, medical treatment for eye disease, or just a recommendation that you have your eyes examined again within a specific time frame. They may also suggest certain supplements and foods to help protect your eyes in the future and help to improve eye issues now.
Regardless of who you are, what your age is, or where your physical health may be, visiting an eye doctor regularly is just as important as receiving a yearly physical. Call St. Lucy’s Vision Center today!