Life is busy, so you’ve developed the art of avoiding, canceling, and saying no to nonessential events, meetings, and appointments. But before you lump routine eye exams into that category, take a look at what you can gain from these important visits with the optometrist — and what you could be risking if you blow them off.
Dr. Sophia Barnes at Vision Corner helps countless men, women, and children throughout the greater Houston, Texas, area keep their vision sharp and healthy throughout their lives, and routine eye exams are key in that success. Here’s what Dr. Barnes has to say about why regular eye exams are worth carving out time for in your busy schedule.
Routine eye exams are visits you schedule regardless of the presence or absence of symptoms so Dr. Barnes can monitor your eye health. Like a wellness visit to your doctor or a checkup with your dentist, regular eye exams play a key role in your overall eye health.
Here are five ways you can benefit from regular eye exams.
Your eyes and brain work together to make sense of the world around you, and even when your vision starts to degrade, your brain makes adjustments. Changes in your eyes occur slowly — often so gradually that you don’t even notice them — but we do.
Dr. Barnes expertly examines your eyes and detects any abnormalities that suggest your visual acuity is less than optimal. You may simply need corrective lenses for clarity, medication for dry eyes, or treatment for computer vision syndrome, but if you ignore the problem, it can progress into a more serious vision condition.
Many serious eye diseases start out with no symptoms whatsoever. By the time you notice a problem, it can be too late to treat, repair, or reverse it.
Regular eye exams give you the benefit of foreknowledge and the ability to find and treat serious eye health conditions, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts.
You may be surprised to learn that the blood vessels in your eyes tell doctors a great deal about what’s happening in the rest of your body. Often, optometrists are the first line of defense because they can see the early signs of some serious health conditions, including:
Even if you think your eyes and vision are fine, a routine eye exam may reveal vital information you need to know to prevent disease or get a jump on early treatment.
Most people have participated in a vision screening at some point. These are the quick tests where you stand several feet away from a chart on the wall, cover one eye, and read the lines of progressively shrinking letters.
This is fine for finding out whether your kid can see the chalkboard from the back of the classroom or if you can read a road sign before you get to an intersection, but it doesn’t check for subtle vision problems or serious diseases.
If you rely on a vision test alone for information about your eye health, you put yourself at risk for future unexpected problems that may have been preventable.
The better you know Dr. Barnes and she knows you, the better chance you have of keeping your eyes healthy and functioning for your entire life. That’s because regular eye exams help Dr. Barnes establish a baseline for your vision, which is very important, because change often indicates a problem.
She also gets to know more about your overall health and how it might affect your eyes, so she can be on the lookout for related issues. For instance, if you have diabetes, she can watch for signs of diabteic retinopathy.
Over time, she also learns about your lifestyle and habits that may influence your eyesight. If you stare at a computer all day, work in the sun, or drive for a living, this information helps Dr. Barnes evaluate your eyes and help you prevent excess strain that can damage your eye health.