The Alberta Association of Optometrists states that adults between the ages of 20 to 64 should schedule an eye exam every two years. Children and senior citizens should be getting their eyes checked annually.
But are you actually following these guidelines? How often are you getting your eyes checked?
We see a lot of clients putting off their eye exams, forgetting about them, or basing their eye health on simple vision tests. The truth is, eye exams tell you much more than just what prescription glasses you’ll need.
But what exactly are eye exams good for? In this article, we’ll be outlining the 7 reasons you should regularly schedule an eye exam.
1. Vision Screenings Only Provide Half The Picture
Parents have told us that their child’s vision is fine because they passed their school vision test. Others think their eyes don’t need an exam because they already passed their vision test when they got their driver’s license renewed.
We’ve heard it all before, and unfortunately, these vision screenings don’t really paint the full picture. Schools and motor license issuers often conduct these tests to screen out individuals who have obvious troubles seeing in a classroom or reading road signs while driving.
These tests are only meant to identify people with serious vision problems and don’t present much in the way of eye health. We recommend visiting an eye doctor for an eye exam to really know the state of your eyes.
2. Eye Health And Vision Change Over Time
It’s important to remember that just like the rest of your body, your eyes’ overall health can change in a matter of years, months, or even weeks.
Regularly scheduling an eye exam is a good way to give yourself some peace of mind and know exactly what’s going on.
The same goes for your vision. There’s a myriad of different vision problems that could be the cause of age, lifestyle changes, or genetics. Scheduling an eye exam can clear that up for you and help you take the right step forward.
3. The Prevalence of Myopia
Myopia is the clinical term for near-sightedness and is a visual condition in which objects can be seen up-close, but anything in the distance is hard to see.
This occurs when your cornea has too much curvature and the light going into the eye isn’t properly focused on your retina. This can occur spontaneously, but can also be hereditary.
The Alberta Association of Optometrists claims that myopia affects nearly 30% of the Canadian population, and often starts during childhood. That means there’s almost a 1 in 3 chance that you or your kids will have myopia.
Getting an annual eye exam is an effective way to not only discover whether you have myopia but take steps towards improving your condition by getting the right prescriptions and treatment.
4. Detecting Glaucoma
Glaucoma is one of the most prevalent eye diseases out there, but it’s one of the hardest ones to catch on your own.
It refers to a group of eye diseases that degrades the optic nerve and often leads to gradual vision loss and even blindness if not treated earlier. It’s a painless disease and most people suffering from glaucoma don’t even know it’s happening to them.
People over the age of 60 are more susceptible to the disease, and the fact remains that glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in Canada.
Seeing an eye doctor is the best way to know whether you have glaucoma or not. Scheduling routine eye exams can help you avoid the most detrimental effects of this disease.
5. Eye Exams Detect Other Health Issues
Many people aren’t aware of this, but eye exams detect health complications that aren’t even directly related to your eyes. It’s strange, we know, but it’s true.
Many people who find out that they have serious health conditions like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and even cancer during routine eye exams.
Optometrists can check the blood vessels in your retina during exams, which often shows the state of your blood throughout your entire body. Highly common diseases like diabetes can be detected. Early detection of such conditions can greatly reduce the negative effects of the condition, or even be life-saving.
As such, seeing an optometrist isn’t just about improving your vision. Routine eye exams might tip you off to diseases that are indirectly related to your eyes.
6. Strong Vision Makes You Safer
We think it goes without saying but getting a routine eye exam just makes your life a whole lot safer. Without proper vision, performing daily tasks, such as driving a car, becomes much more difficult,.
This is why they test your vision whenever you go renew your driver’s license. Moreover, constant eye strain or headaches could endanger your vision and make it unsafe for you to drive.
Being able to see clearly makes your life easier and safer. Getting your eye exam can let you know if something might be compromising your vision.
7. Good Vision Makes Learning Easier
Untreated vision impairment can make learning in school more difficult for children. We want kids to have all the tools they need to be successful in the classroom, and proper vision and eyecare are two of those tools.
The National Coalition for Vision Health estimates that 1 in 4 children in Canada has a vision problem, but only 14% of Canadian children routinely get eye exams. This might be because parents rely on school vision tests as indicators of healthy eyes.
There’s always a chance your child might have a minor yet common eye condition like myopia. Scheduling routine eye exams can ensure that your children are seeing and understanding their classroom material clearly.
It’s Time To Stop Putting Off Eye Exams
If it’s been a while since your last eye exam, scheduling one soon can be beneficial for your health.
Looking for reliable eye care and examinations in the Lloydminster area? Need a new pair of glasses while you’re at it? Dr. Jade and Dr. Sarah at Eye Expressions is here for you! Schedule an exam and take control of your health today.