As you schedule your yearly health and wellness appointments, who are you including on your list? You’ll likely think to schedule an annual visit to your dentist and primary care physician, but what about your eye doctor? No matter your age or stage of life, regular eye exams can help keep your vision healthy, which is why annual visits to your optometrist or ophthalmologist should also be a part of your health care routine.
Many people think that improving your eyesight through corrective lenses, contacts or LASIK is the only reason to visit an ophthalmologist or optometrist in Marietta. However, just as our bodies require evolving care, so do our eyes. Continue reading to discover the importance of annual eye exams at every age.
During the early years of a child’s life, much of what they learn is through their eyes. Healthy vision allows them to develop and discover more about the world around them. If an infant or young child’s vision is impaired, it can cause developmental problems – both neurologically and physically.
Visual development occurs throughout school age and, if not properly treated in childhood, will have impact through an entire lifetime. Vision and depth perception problems that are undetected can hinder a child’s ability to learn and grow. According to the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health, more than one in five preschool-age children enrolled in Head Start have a vision disorder.
Fortunately, parents can schedule a comprehensive eye exam for children as young as 6 months old, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. A parent should have his or her child’s eyes examined at least once before they start kindergarten. Problems treated early almost always have a good outcome so a child can have a healthy start to their education.
Once a person has reached adulthood, the assumption is that vision changes will no longer occur. However, regular eye exams is recommended. An ophthalmologist or optometrist will diagnose not only need for glasses but also eye diseases that have no symptoms. Young adults should have a baseline exam and, if normal, once every several years thereafter. It is recommended to have an annual eye exam after age 45 because the risk of eye disease increases significantly.
Computer vision problems, dry eyes, allergies, and other problems are common in young adults. Glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and macular degeneration become more prevalent if you are over age 45. The need for reading glasses arises universally over age 40. Regular eye exams can lead to early detection and treatment of diseases in their early stages, before they become severe or difficult to manage.
As a patient ages, they become more susceptible to all eye diseases. Glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and macular degeneration are the triad of most common eye diseases. Glaucoma is treatable, and with advances in modern eye drops, one can be almost guaranteed to avoid blindness if it is managed in the early stages. Retinopathy due to diabetes can be avoided with good blood sugar management and regular eye exams. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness and vision loss in Americans over the age of 65, as stated in an article by the American Academy of Family Physicians. Once untreatable, advanced stages can now be controlled with laser in combination with modern chemical agents. Although vision problems occur more often for seniors, they can be treated if caught early. Annual eye exams can help detect, diagnose and treat eye problems before they can impact a person’s quality of life.
Cataract is not a disease but a normal aging process which will cause visual blurriness or glare as it progresses. It can start as early as age 40s. By age 65, over 90% of people have cataracts, according to the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center. With modern advances of surgery techniques and technology, patients are having cataract surgery much earlier due to benefits similar to LASIK in addition to remedying cataracts.
Ultimately, no one is too young or too old – or even “too healthy” for an eye exam. Visit your trusted ophthalmologist or optometrist at Marietta Eye Clinic.
Schedule your next eye exam TODAY. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Dr. Ho is an ophthalmologist with the Marietta Eye Clinic. He specializes in cataracts, pediatrics, and adult strabismus, in addition to offering comprehensive care. He serves the Kennestone and East Cobb offices. Dr. Ho received his undergraduate degree in computer engineering from Drexel University and got his medical degree at the Hahnemann University School of Medicine. He is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, and the Georgia Society of Ophthalmology. Read his full bio 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 (O.D.), optometric professionals, and optometry students.
Children’s Vision and Eye Health: A Snapshot of Current National Issues
Eye Screening for Children
The University of Michigan Medicine’s Kellogg Eye Center
American Family Physician
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