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Three Reasons That Highlight How Crucial Regular Eye Exams Are

4 weeks, 1 day ago

1126  0
Posted on Apr 23, 2024, 3 p.m.

Healthy vision is essential for interacting with the world. Without it, kids face slowed development, adults can encounter employment and mental health difficulties, and seniors become more vulnerable to social isolation, accidents, and injuries.

Despite this, plenty of people continue to neglect their eye health. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that over 2.2 billion individuals experience visual impairment. Roughly a billion of these cases were preventable. So, if you're keen to protect your vision or prevent it from worsening, you can always follow a few best practices. Eat more leafy vegetables rich in lutein and zeaxanthin. Wear sunglasses throughout the year. Limit your screen time.

However, the WHO believes it's crucial to care for your eyes with the help of a healthcare professional. Regular eye exams can safeguard not just your vision but your overall health. Here are three reasons that prove why they're so crucial.

They correct refractive errors

Refractive errors like myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism (blurred vision) occur when your eyes can't properly focus the light that enters them. Optometrists can diagnose them during routine eye exams. By having you look at or into an auto-refractor, a lens phoropter, and an eye chart, they can accurately determine how far away you are from 20/20 vision and give you a copy of your prescription.

You can use this to get corrective aids that align with your needs and preferences. Individuals who prefer eyewear can use it to buy eyeglasses either physically or online, and in any frame or lens style they like. Take Ray-Ban's dedicated optics line, which is available both in stores and on its website. It offers classic designs like the Wayfarer and Erika. These come in various colorways and styles to suit your tastes while accommodating multiple prescription types. The same goes for those who want the added convenience and reduced image distortion of contact lenses. Brands like J&J Vision offer FDA-approved contacts like Acuvue Abiliti, which can handle even strong prescriptions and can be worn overnight to correct myopia.

However, eye exams are more than just a way to get a prescription. When consulted regularly, optometrists can track the progression of your refractive errors and provide you with clear vision for longer.

They continuously treat long-term eye issues

To achieve long-term eye health, go beyond basic eye screenings and regularly get comprehensive eye exams. Here, optometrists conduct further tests to evaluate the strength of your eye muscles, assess the pressure levels inside the eyes, and use artificial tears that dilate your pupils to examine even the backs of each eye.

These are crucial for detecting various conditions that can cause blindness. That includes macular degeneration, which blurs your central vision; glaucoma, where high ocular pressure damages your optic nerve; and clouded eyesight via cataracts. A diagnosis will allow your optometrist to promptly create a treatment plan that prevents vision loss. For example, they can prescribe medications like Avastin for macular degeneration and Xalatan for glaucoma. They may also recommend surgery for advanced cases of conditions like cataracts.

The reason comprehensive eye exams are so vital is that many of these conditions don't show symptoms. That means these tests are the only way to diagnose and treat them early. More importantly, booking them regularly means you can continuously address these conditions for better outcomes. Experts from Duke University emphasize that for diseases like glaucoma, doing so is crucial to prevent them from progressing into blindness.

They can spot non-eye-related diseases

The benefits of regular eye exams extend to the rest of your body because they can also determine if you have diseases that don't directly affect your vision. For one, we've previously noted that many people who have diabetes aren't diagnosed until they visit an optometrist. That's because the disease can cause leakages in your eyes' blood vessels and lead to conditions like diabetic retinopathy. Meanwhile, optometrists checking for glaucoma can also determine if your blood pressure levels are high enough to diagnose you with hypertension. In worst-case scenarios, symptoms like a loss of side vision, pupil size changes, and double vision may signal that you have tumors that may possibly be cancerous.

Given how close the eyes are to the brain, vision screenings can even determine if you'll experience cognitive decline as you age. Studies find that new eye exam technologies like Optical Coherence Tomography can check for symptoms like retinal thickness. That can predict your likelihood of being diagnosed with diseases like Alzheimer's and dementia down the line.

Regularly booking an eye exam can help you and your healthcare providers anticipate and treat these issues as you age. That way, you can minimize their impact on your overall quality of life.

This article was written for WHN by RUTH ANN JOHN who is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about health, wellness, and sustainability. When she’s not typing away at her keyboard, you can find her completing an oil painting or doing DIY projects.

As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. 

Opinion Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of WHN/A4M. Any content provided by guest authors is of their own opinion and is not intended to malign any religion, ethic group, club, organization, company, individual, or anyone or anything.

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