We’re celebrating Save Your Vision Month by devoting an entire blog post to the top reasons to put an eye exam on the calendar. How often they should happen will depend on your individual situation, but in general, we should at least be seeing you once every two years.
Have you been squinting a lot lately? Are the leaves on the trees starting to blur together into an indistinct mass again? Is it getting harder to read small font sizes or billboards in the distance? Then it’s time for a new prescription for your glasses or contacts! Don’t subject yourself to a needless lack of sharp detail; schedule an appointment!
It’s not just people with corrective lenses who need eye exams, and that’s because a number of sight-threatening eye conditions (including age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma) develop very slowly, so the symptoms aren’t always obvious to the patient until they’ve had a long time to progress. Regular eye exams allow us to catch these eye diseases early on so we can slow their progress.
In the modern age of digital screens everywhere, many of us work in front of a computer for hours at a time — or we at least spend a lot of time staring at a smartphone. All that screen time can lead to digital eye strain, which includes symptoms like dry eyes, blurred vision, and even more frequent headaches! Digital eye strain might not be sight-threatening in the long term, but it still makes it a lot harder to focus on work. We can help!
Beyond checking for the early signs of eye disease, updating prescriptions, and helping fight digital eye strain, when we see a patient for an eye exam, we might also spot the early signs of chronic conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even some forms of cancer. Eyes aren’t just windows to the soul; they’re windows to the health of the whole body!
Parents in particular should be aware that the kinds of vision screenings often offered by the school nurse are only designed to check for nearsightedness or farsightedness. An alarming percentage of children go through school struggling with an undiagnosed vision problem that can severely impact their enjoyment of learning. A comprehensive eye exam will catch what the school nurse misses, which is why we recommend that children come in for their first eye exam at six months old!
We really want to get the word out about how important eye exams are to lifelong vision health, from catching vision problems in children before they can negatively impact their education — all the way to stopping age-related eye diseases in their tracks. How long has it been since your last appointment?