Comprehensive eye exams are not only important for patients that need glasses or contacts but for everyone. There are several reasons why its important to get your annual eye exam and we will run through a couple of the most important reasons.
There is a saying that the eyes are “the windows to the soul”. This is partly true in that they enable your doctor to view very important blood vessels in the body. This is done by performing a dilated eye exam. The pupil is enlarged by the dilating drops allowing the doctor to view very important structures in the eye such as; the optic nerve, macula, retina and blood vessels. Many health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, glaucoma, and macular degeneration can be found by your optometrist during your comprehensive eye exam.
The second reason you should get your early eye exam is because of sun damage. Living in Florida we are all exposed to a lot of UV sunlight. People can actually have freckles in the back of their eye. These freckles can change just like they do on the skin from excessive exposure to UV light. Another change in the eyes you can get from the sun is cataracts. Polarized or UV blocking sunglasses are a must for patients to protect their eyes from the sun as well as yearly eye exams.
The third reason is the most obvious, vision correction. Myopia, or nearsightedness, is becoming an epidemic among school aged children due to digital device use and excessive focusing at near objects. Clear vision will help children excel in the classroom and perform better at activities and sporting events.
The forth and last reason is family history of an eye disease such as glaucoma or macular degeneration. Having family history of any eye disease makes the patient exponentially more at risk at development. Yearly eye exams can detect early changes and therefore lead to better treatment outcomes. If you don’t know your family history it is a good idea to ask around at your next family gathering.