You make it a point to schedule annual physicals. You probably see your dentist at least twice a year. Yet eye exams don’t seem to be part of these regular checkups.
The problem is it’s easy to take your eye health for granted. Unless you experience an obvious issue with your vision, many eye conditions go unnoticed for a long time. This is precisely why seeing an ophthalmologist consistently is critical for overall health. A comprehensive eye exam checks for visual acuity, alignment, and movement and detects possible eye diseases or underlying health conditions.
If you’re on the fence as to whether or not you’re due for an eye exam, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Do you remember when your last eye exam was?
If you can’t pinpoint the specific date of your last eye exam, then it’s safe to conclude that it’s been a while since you last got your eye checked. Remember, many eye diseases have subtle symptoms that gradually get worse. Getting your eyes checked regularly can help make sure that potential eye conditions are detected early and get treated as soon as possible.
Some eye conditions to take note of are:
- Cataracts: Clouding in the lenses in your eye can lead to vision loss.
- Diabetic retinopathy: Damage to blood vessels in the back of your eyes due to diabetes, which can ultimately cause blindness.
- Glaucoma: A degenerative disease that causes damage to your optic nerves.
- Age-related macular degeneration: The gradual loss of tissues in your eyes that use light to see.
2. Do you have a high risk for eye diseases?
Certain conditions can increase your risk of developing serious eye diseases. Early detection can help prevent or even delay progression, but some conditions are actually out of your control.
If you fall into any of the following categories, be sure to get your eyes checked regularly:
- You have a family history of eye disease, specifically the condition mentioned above.
- You are African-American or Mexican-American.
- You suffer from diabetes
- You have a job that’s visually demanding.
- You wear contact lenses
- You have had eye surgery.
- You have experienced eye injury.
- You have eyesight that continues to get worse over time.
3. Do you notice your vision getting worse?
If you notice that you’ve been squinting more often to read road signs or reading subtitles while watching TV is getting a little harder, it might be time to see your eye doctor.
Vision problems, especially if you notice that you need a new prescription for your glasses or contact lenses, can make it very hard to go about your daily routine. If you’re wearing the wrong grade, this can cause headaches due to eye strain.
4. Are you experiencing recurring eye problems?
No matter how mild, if you’re experiencing recurring eye issues, it’s best to get a specialist to look into it to determine the cause.
Consider the following statistics: 1 million Americans get an eye infection that will require medical attention. Around 2.4 million Americans will suffer an eye injury as well. Pay attention to symptoms such as:
- Redness or draining
- Eye pain
- Double vision
- Flashes of light
- Clear, watery discharge
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s time. Get in touch with us immediately to schedule a thorough eye exam. Remember, staying on top of your eye health means ensuring clear, strong vision for years to come.