We are constantly using our eyes – to navigate, to read, and even to dream. But we don’t often stop to think about the health of our eyes. You may not think that vision plays into overall health, but healthy eyes actually keep us safe every day.
Why Children Need Vision Exams for Healthy Eyes
Poor vision can start at birth or develop over time. Instead of waiting for the symptoms of poor vision to start getting in the way, annual eye exams can catch vision changes before they become extreme. You don’t have to wait until your child gets headaches or you can’t read street signs to get a vision exam.
Unfortunately, many people don’t understand the importance of continued vision care at every age.
- Just one out of every seven preschoolers receive an eye exam to complement a vision screening they may receive during an annual well-child visit or from the school nurse.
- Close to 175,000 American preschoolers struggle with common, but untreated, vision problems.
- Click here to learn more about eye screenings for children.
Research indicates that the problem is getting worse overtime. Poor vision in this young population is expected to increase by 26 percent by 2060.
What’s worse, poor vision as a child will often carry over into adulthood. Over “10 million Americans have undiagnosed eye problems and conditions that can affect their vision and eye health.”
Vision benefits allow you to maintain healthy eyes and receive professional recommendations to ensure your vision remains healthy.
Why Adults Need Vision Exams for Healthy Eyes
To maintain healthy vision, the Center for Disease Control recommends adults get annual comprehensive dilated eye exams. During the exam, a vision 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.
Regular dilated eye exams with a vision doctor can not only help detect problems with your vision, 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. Though at first it may cause no symptoms, it can lead to blindness.
- Glaucoma – There are a few types of glaucoma, all 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.