Eye exams are an important part of your general health. However, you might find it easy to overlook them. Over time you might have worsening vision, but so little that you don’t notice it. You should have your eyes checked regularly to ensure you catch any vision problems early. Additionally, another benefit to regular eye exams is that your eye doctor can catch eye diseases that can affect your overall health.
The Difference between Vision Screening and Eye Exams
When you think about eye exams, you should not confuse them with vision screenings. Vision screenings are just a basic test that will tell if you have trouble seeing. These vision screenings can find out if you need further assessment or possibly corrective measures.
Anyone can perform vision screenings, whether they’re school nurses, pediatricians, even volunteers at your vision clinic. However, these screenings are only for checking your natural vision. They do not check your eye health, and can't be used alone to prescribe glasses or contact lenses if you need them. Additionally, vision screenings often just check for nearsightedness, and farsighted children are often overlooked.
On the other hand, eye doctors perform comprehensive tests called eye exams. These tests require expertise and equipment to determine not just the current state of your vision, but the overall health of your eyes. If you’re having vision problems, eye exams can find the underlying causes and catch signs of disease that may endanger your sight as well as your eye’s health.
By the same token, eye exams can diagnose symptoms of diabetes, tumors, autoimmune disorders, thyroid problems, high blood pressure, and even cancer. Finally, a good eye exam gives you the most accurate prescription for glasses or contacts.
Checking Your Eye Health
There are many diseases that can grow in your eyes. Some of these diseases are common, like glaucoma and cataracts, as well as lesser known diseases like macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. Many of these diseases have subtle or even no outward symptoms until the disease has progressed.
The best way to fight these diseases is early detection with regular eye exams. Your eye doctor checks for initial signs of these diseases, so that you can slow the progress as much as possible.
If you have problems with your eyes like dry eyes, eye swelling, redness, or pain, you should always contact an eye doctor as soon as possible. Your vision is one of the most important senses you have, and you should do everything you can to protect it.
Eye Exams for Children
Vision problems can contribute to or cause educational and developmental difficulties with children. Some of these difficulties may not even seem related to vision. Reading and writing are obviously dependent on vision, however motor development is also reliant on vision.
Children who have trouble focusing, or are having trouble with hand-eye coordination often feel frustrated. This frustration can cause behavioral problems. Many times, your children don’t realize that their vision problems aren’t normal, so they don’t know how to express what they need.
It's usually easier to treat most eye conditions if they're caught early. This is because the eyes are still developing. You should make sure to get your children eye exams on a regular and frequent schedule.
Eye Exams for People Over 40
As with the other parts of our bodies, our eyes grow weaker as we age. There are a lot of age-related eye conditions that are quite common. These conditions include presbyopia and cataracts. These diseases and conditions will affect your daily life, so be sure you get eye exams more often.
If you have any fun stories about your trip to the optometrist, or just want to show off your new designer eyeglasses, head over to the Hoff Optometry & Eyewear's Facebook page. If you're ready to schedule your eye exam, or you're looking for the pair of glasses that fit your style, you can call or visit our office to schedule your appointment.