Eyes exams are critical for everyone, not just those who may have vision problems or that must wear glasses. Even though you may have had a vision screening at school, or at the Department of Motor Vehicles when you renewed your license, those screenings are not intended to be a substitute for a comprehensive vision exam conducted by a professional. Vision screenings are useful as a quick snapshot of how well you can see, but not to detect the hidden problems that may be occurring inside your eye that may not be impacting your vision currently.
Frequent comprehensive eye exams can help with the early detection of problems like glaucoma or even cancer. We advise a first eye exam as early as 6 months looking for early signs of eye drift known as strabismus. A more thorough test for this and a condition known as amblyopia or “lazy eye” is best done between. This can help identify any issues that can impact their learning. Follow-up appointment frequency should be determined by the optometrist and the schedule should be adhered to. There are several different tests involved in a comprehensive eye exam to provide an overview of your overall optic health, not just how well you can see, or if you have colorblindness.
Myopia (nearsightedness) has become an epidemic amongst younger kids, and due to the amount of time spent in front of a computer or tablet screen, this trend is not likely to reverse anytime soon.
Taking the appropriate measures early before myopia progresses to a stage that can increase the chance of them developing other related problems like glaucoma or cataracts is critical. If detected early enough steps can be taken to slow the advance of myopia and reduce the chances of severe eye problems later in life.
Another insidious eye disease problem that can affect your eyes is glaucoma. Glaucoma is most often caused by high pressure in the eye, and it cannot be detected by a vision screening. Early glaucoma has no early onset signs or symptoms. Without detection by a comprehensive eye exam, the first signs of glaucoma that you may experience are permanent vision loss. By that time, it may be too late, as controlling the disease to prevent increasing vision loss or even blindness can be extremely difficult.
Finally, getting a regular comprehensive eye exam can help with the early identification of other medical problems you may be experiencing and possibly unaware of. During an eye exam, the eye doctor will examine the blood vessels in your retina, which can also act to provide a good look into the overall health of the blood vessels in your body. Serious medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and high levels of cholesterol are detectable as changes in the appearance of the blood vessels in the retina.
It is plain to see that even if you feel you have perfect vision, there is still a need for a regularly scheduled comprehensive examination by an eye doctor. Unfortunately, by the time any medical problems you may be having inside the eye becomes apparent by affecting your vision, it may be already too late.