We are constantly using our eyes – to navigate, read, and even dream. But we don’t often stop to think about the health of our eyes. You may not think that your vision plays into your overall health, but healthy eyes keep us safe every day.
Why children need vision exams for healthy eyes
Poor vision can start at birth or develop over time. It’s important to get your children’s vision screened before eye problems impact their quality of life. Children with poor vision often find it hard to focus in school, which can cause them to fall behind their peers. Additionally, vision problems can affect hand-eye coordination which may lower your child’s confidence to play recreational activities with their friends. All of this can lead to negative impacts on their mental health.
Signs of poor vision in children:
Signs that your child may have poor vision include:
- Recurring headaches
- Eye pain
- Head tilting
- Complaining of eye pain
- Losing their place when reading
- Holding items close to their face
- Eye rubbing or blinking
If your child is frequently complaining about their eyes or avoids doing tasks such as reading, it may be a sign to get to an eye doctor. Vision benefits help you maintain healthy eyes and get professional care if needed.
Why adults need vision exams for healthy eyes
According to a health survey from American Foundation for the Blind, 32.2 million adults in the United States have experienced vision loss. Unfortunately, these numbers are predicted to increase in the upcoming decades. Adults with vision problems may experience feelings of anxiety, fear, depression, loneliness, and even social isolation.
The National Eye Institute recommends adults get comprehensive dilated eye exams every one to two years if they are over 60, are African American and over 40, or if there is a history of eye problems in their family. During the exam, an eye doctor uses special eye drops that widen, or dilate, the pupils. This allows the doctor to check for common vision problems and eye diseases. It’s the best way to see if glasses or contacts are needed or if the early stages of eye-related diseases are present.
Dilated eye exams not only help detect problems with your vision, but they can also help detect problems with your overall health. Conditions that can be found through eye exams include:
- Diabetic retinopathy – A complication of diabetes that damages the blood vessels of light-sensitive tissues in the retina. At first it may cause no symptoms, but it can lead to blindness.
- Glaucoma – There are a few types of glaucoma, all of which damage the optic nerve in the eye. It’s the leading cause of blindness for individuals over 60. When recognized early, vision loss can be prevented.
- Cataracts – This condition clouds the normally clear lens of our eye, making it difficult to read, drive, or see facial expressions. Though it may not disturb your vision early on, it will eventually interfere. Surgery for cataracts is considered generally safe and effective.
- Age-related macular degeneration – This common eye disorder for individuals over 50 causes thinning of the macula, “the part of the retina responsible for clear vision in your direct line of sight.” This leads to blurred or reduced vision. Early detection and preventive measures can delay the loss of vision.
Vision care is essential to maintaining your overall health. Vision care coverage and good overall health habits can help protect your ability to witness the colors of a sunset or read a new novel.
If you’re interested in ensuring healthy vision for your family, click here to learn more about how you can make sure your eyes are covered.
*Updated October 2022