For most of us, vision is an essential part of quality of life. The key to maintaining good vision and healthy eyes as you age is preventative care. Although most vision loss can be prevented if caught early, many people don’t get eye exams as often as recommended. Proper preventative care will give you the upper hand in the effort to keep your eyes healthy and your vision clear.
Comprehensive eye exams involve more than checking your vision for glasses and contacts. Optometrists and ophthalmologists conduct comprehensive eye examinations to check for damage from health conditions such as diabetes and to check for eye diseases that can lead to blindness, such as glaucoma and cataracts. You may not notice symptoms of some eye diseases until the disease is advanced. The more advanced an eye disease is, the more challenging it can be to slow progression or prevent permanent visual damage. Regular eye exams help you and your eye doctor detect problems at their earliest stage possible, when they are the most treatable. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, people between the ages of 55 and 64 who have no symptoms of eye disease and see clearly should schedule comprehensive eye examinations at least every 1 to 3 years.
Many variables can affect your eye health. If any of these risk factors applies to you, you may want to increase your frequency of comprehensive eye exams from the typical recommendation for your age range:
Routine eye exams have been proven to help combat eye disease, visual impairment, and total blindness. Keep in mind the guidance above and reach out to your local optometrist or ophthalmologist more frequently if you are at a higher risk of developing disease, if you have personal history of visual issues or disease, or if your family has a history of eye disease. It may save your vision.
Dr. John is a primary care optometrist with the Marietta Eye Clinic who specializes in ocular disease and provides ocular surgery co-management. He earned his doctor of optometry from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry before completing residencies at the Ohio State University College of Optometry, the Chalmer P. Wylie VA Ambulatory Care Center, and the Chillicothe VA Medical Center. He is a member of the American Optometric Association, the Georgia Optometric Association, and the Greater Atlanta Optometric Association. He is certified by the American Board of Optometry, the Georgia Board of Optometry, and the National Board of Examiners. Read more about Dr. John here.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons. It describes itself as a “global community of 32,000 medical doctors who protect sight and empower lives by setting the standards for ophthalmic education and advocating for our patients and the public.” Its website is a great resource to learn more about how to care for your eyes.
The American Optometric Association (AOA) describes itself as the leading authority on quality care and an advocate for our nation’s health, representing more than 44,000 doctors of optometry, optometric professionals, and optometry students.
Eye Exam and Vision Testing Basics
Frequency of Ocular Examinations – 2015
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