Why It’s Important to Have an Annual Eye Exam

Why It’s Important to Have an Annual Eye Exam

With all the hustle and bustle that goes on every day in our lives, it is very easy to overlook or forget to schedule an eye exam. People are of the mindset that as long as they can see, whether with or without glasses or contacts, that there truly is no need. This could not be farther from the truth.

There are a variety of eye problems that can simply go unnoticed, but may very well be present and causing preliminary vision issues without you even knowing it, thus the need for annual comprehensive eye exams. A comprehensive exam performed by an either an ophthalmologist or optometrist can detect and identify problems long before they cause debilitating damage to your eyes and to your vision.

Do Adults Need Annual Eye Exams?

With that said, it is important that adults have an eye exam performed if they have not been to an eye doctor in years and children should have their first eye exam when entering kindergarten. During a baseline eye exam, the eye doctor will perform a refraction to measure your vision, and will gather pertinent information about personal and family medical histories. The medical histories will, of course, include vision and eye care questions, but will also include information about high blood pressure histories, diabetes, heart disease and a variety of other medical factors that can play a significant role in vision loss. Upon completion of your baseline visit, your doctor will set in place a follow up schedule and its frequency depending upon the medical history that was gathered.

What Happens During an Eye Exam?

The eye doctor will also look for varied clinical findings that may, over time, increase the risk of a detached retina or retinal tears. Indications they look out for include thinning of the retina or a high refractive error, to name a couple. If there are pigmentary changes noted during an eye exam doctors will show concern because these changes can increase your overall risk of glaucoma, which is a disease that affects the optic nerve. The doctor will then perform a very thorough yet careful exam of the optic nerve using dilations in their efforts to rule out glaucoma.

During the dilated eye examination, a doctor is able to identify diabetic retinopathy as well, which is a condition caused by damaged blood vessels in the eye. Both diabetic eye diseases and glaucoma can rob you of your eyesight having not presented with any noticeable changes in your actual vision capabilities over the years. Once the damage is incurred, it is not possible for the eyesight to be restored.  

Identifying Eye Issues with Early Detection

There are also some less than common issues that can occur with your vision, including choroidal melanoma (a cancer that can be detected during dilated eye examinations), and even eye or brain tumors can be present without your knowledge. In some cases, individuals might complain of a consistent blurred vision without any other symptoms only to learn that they have an eye or even brain tumor. For this reason, it is imperative to have annual eye exams so that early detection can occur should problems exist and a positive outcome thereafter achieved.

Schedule an Eye Appointment with Your Local Optometrist

With all this said, it is a good practice for all individuals to schedule and engage in annual eye examinations for the betterment of their own vision and health. Reach out to the professionals here at Riverside Medical Group to schedule your eye examination today!