Your eyes are precious—they’re central to your ability to read, drive, and enjoy life. But they’re also delicate and prone to injury. This is why it is important to get your eyes checked regularly with an eye exam from an optometrist or ophthalmologist.
Routine eye exams are by far the most effective ways to maintain good vision throughout your life. They’ll help you detect any problems before they cause permanent damage. Even if you have no immediate concerns, it’s always good to have a checkup every year or two to catch any issues early.
What are the benefits of getting an eye exam?
Here’s why it’s so important to get regular eye exams:
1) Your eyesight is essential for everyday life—you need it for everything from reading to driving. If you don’t get regular eye exams, you could miss out on many fun activities and opportunities because of your poor vision.
2) Eye exams can catch issues before they become serious problems. For example, if you have high blood pressure or diabetes, your doctor may tell you to see an optometrist or ophthalmologist once a year. This is important for managing these conditions and allows them to check for other health issues affecting your vision and overall well-being.
3) If your vision or behavior changes, you should get checked right away. This will allow you to detect them before they become permanent or worsen into something more serious, such as macular degeneration (AMD).
How often should you get your eyes checked?
Getting an eye exam is the only way to know if you have a vision problem that could affect your life. Some people don’t think about their eyes until they start having issues with them, but vision issues can occur at any time.
The good news is that most visual disorders are detectable and treatable at an early stage. Regular eye exams can help you detect such problems before they worsen, allowing faster treatment and fewer long-term complications. An eye exam also helps your doctor determine whether you need eyeglasses or contact lenses to correct any refractive errors (such as nearsightedness or farsightedness) that may affect your vision.
How frequently should you have your eyes checked? The American Optometric Association recommends that children get their first comprehensive eye exam by age three and again at age five (or sooner if there are signs of visual development). Adults should schedule their first comprehensive exam by age 20 and then every two years after age 40—or more frequently if there’s evidence of any issues with visual function.
What are some common eye problems?
They will examine you for common eye disorders whenever you visit the eye doctor. Here are some common eye problems:
- Cataracts – If your vision is blurry and cloudy, it could be caused by cataracts. These are small patches on the lens of your eye that prevent light from focusing correctly on your retina. As they grow larger, they can make it difficult to read or drive. If left untreated, they can cause blindness in more severe situations.
- Glaucoma – This condition causes damage to the optic nerve in your eye, which can lead to permanent vision loss if not treated early enough—and sometimes even if it is treated early enough! It usually affects older adults with high blood pressure and diabetes. Still, anyone over 40 who has noticed a change in their vision should have their eyes examined immediately by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor).
- Eye Floaters – These are little spots that appear in your vision. They can be caused by a small tear in the retina of your eye or by age-related changes in your vitreous gel. They’re typically harmless and don’t require treatment. You can learn more about them here.
- Conjunctivitis – Also called pink eye, this condition is caused by an infection in your eye. It’s characterized by redness and inflammation of the conjunctiva (the tissue lining the white part of your eye).
- Macular Degeneration – This condition occurs when the macula begins to deteriorate, causing blurred vision or blind spots in your field of vision. It’s often mistaken for cataracts or other forms of glaucoma because it also causes loss of peripheral vision.
How can you take care of your vision?
As we get older, our eyesight often starts to deteriorate. This can be a little scary, but we must understand how to protect our vision and prevent further damage.
Make a list of easy things you can do every day to keep your eyes healthy. This will help ensure you’re doing everything to keep your eyes healthy. Here are some ideas:
- Wear sunglasses outside when the sun is shining brightly or if there’s snow on the ground. The sun’s UV rays can damage your eyes, so it’s essential to protect them by wearing sunglasses that block 99% UVB and UVA rays.
- If you wear contact lenses that bother you or make you uncomfortable, talk to your doctor about getting new lenses or trying a different brand. If you have astigmatism or other eye disorders, your doctor may tell you to use a different type of lens.
- If you have trouble seeing up close (like reading), talk to an eye doctor about getting reading glasses prescribed for you—these are usually stronger than regular sunglasses and will help you see better up close without compromising your vision in other situations (like driving).
- Try not to spend too much time staring at screens like phones or tablets because they can strain your eyes over time if done too long without breaks away from them for rest periods between use times during each day’s activities schedule.
If you’re like most people, you might not think about your eyes much until something goes wrong. Having an eye exam performed regularly can help you maintain your healthy vision. Arrange a meeting with an eye doctor if you are concerned about your eyes or want to keep your eyesight as sharp as possible. Your eyes will thank you for it.