Eyesight can change with ageing, external factors, hereditary causes etc. without even letting you feel so. It is the eye doctor who would perform an eye examination test and then would be able to figure out if you need a medication or just simple exercising would do. As you may not be aware of underlying conditions that would be affecting your eyes, you need an eye-examination. Know the importance of eye-examination and what it can detect?
Most people have a presumption that eye tests are simply done to detect the need for glasses. However, there is a lot more than finding about your vision capacity. A comprehensive eye examination could rule out conditions like glaucoma, retinal disorders and other common eye diseases while evaluating your overall health. The primary importance of eye examination is also related to early detection of complications of diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.
Importance of Eye Examination
While, myopia is slowly catching the world under its control, 50 percent of people are likely expected to be suffering from the same by 2050. Our lives today are influenced by gadgets all around. This has not only led to sedentary lifestyles but also restricted spending time outdoors. Perhaps, this is the reason that young children and adolescents today are seen wearing specs right from the early age. While nearsightedness and farsightedness is common, computer eye syndrome is also becoming common among all age groups. All such condition call for an eye examination! If you understand the importance of eye examination, you can protect your eyes and health to a great extent.
Routine eye check-ups are vital, be it for children or for adults irrespective of age. While, children should definitely go for it, adults should also follow it to keep their health prescriptions maintained and to check if there are chances of occurrence of any eye disease.
Since children are prone to vision impairment due to increasing use of gadgets and constant study, going in for regular check-ups would ensure normal vision development. Moreover, many a times its seen that children do not tell their parents despite facing vision issues as they are unware of what a normal vision should look like or simply fear telling the truth. Hence, the importance of eye examination is unparalleled in such cases. Parents and schools should encourage routine eye examinations for children before its gets too late or affects their day to day activities.
What Can An Eye Examination Detect?
In addition to checking your visual capacity and need for glasses, an eye doctor can assess your basic health conditions during an eye examination. This can help initiate any treatment or further assessment, if required.
When you think as to what an eye examination can detect, here are few common conditions that can be evaluated.
- Diabetes: A chronic and life threatening disease, diabetes could do a lot of damage to your eyes while affecting your blood sugar levels. It can directly affect blood capillaries present inside the retina thereby producing fluids or releasing blood, leading to complication called as diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic eye complications are quite disturbing and a regular eye examination can help to detect any damage to the eyes at an early stage.
- High Cholesterol Levels: When cholesterol levels in the blood are high, they can result in a yellow circle or fluid around cornea causing discomfort and visual difficulties. Additionally, higher cholesterol levels could also be detected by the presence of plaques inside blood vessels present inside the retina. Thus, any eye damage caused by high lipid levels can be detected with an eye examination.
- High Blood Pressure: High blood pressure can affect blood vessels in eyes severely causing tears, bents or injuries to the eye. A comprehensive eye examination can detect such eye problems and evaluate complications of high blood pressure.
- Thyroid Problems: Hyperthyroidism is characterized by protruding eyes or bulging eyeballs. There is an acute condition called Grave’s Disease that can be detected with an eye examination. Certain autoimmune disorders like lupus, dry eyes, etc. can also be diagnosed while evaluating eye inflammation.
- Cancer: An eye examination performed by a specialist can also detect signs of skin and eye cancer. Ocular melanoma is a condition that can lead to eye pigmentation.
Similarly, other forms of eye cancer that affect the eye and can even spread to brain can be diagnosed at the right time, with an eye examination.
Ideally, comprehensive eye exams should be done at least once in two years to ensure well-being and good eye health. As eye examination can detect many ailments, it is necessary to get yourself checked by a qualified physician.
It is important to understand that when you visit an optician to order your glasses to get your power is simply a visual screening, not an eye exam! Such screenings are brief and cater around detecting visual problems usually done by pediatrician, volunteers or health care provider. For example: an eye check done while applying for driving license is a visual screening. Such screenings may lead you to an eye examination or not but it can never replace the need for a comprehensive eye check-up.
Post Eye Examination Process
Once a comprehensive eye exam is successfully done, the specialist would discuss the results with patient and appropriately prescribe medication or treatment as per the condition of the patient. Hence, it is important to consider the importance of eye examination.
In general, once the eye examination is done, the practitioner would be able to find:
- If your sight needs correction in the form of glasses or not
- If your glass power needs to be changed
- If there is a need for further investigation
- If needed, they will give you a referral to a specialist based on your condition and results of the test.
In case you have been given a prescription for glasses, you must carry the same when going for an eye examination. An eye examination can detect many aspects of your health and keep a check on any complications. Hence, it is necessary that you share your medical history in detail and report any existing medical problems and ongoing medications.
- American Academy of Ophthalmology – “Comprehensive Eye Exams”: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/comprehensive-eye-exams
- National Eye Institute – “Get an Eye Exam”: https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/healthy-vision/get-eye-exam
- Mayo Clinic – “Eye exam: Is it time to see an eye doctor?”: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/eye-exam/about/pac-20384655
- All About Vision – “Eye Exam Cost and When to Have an Eye Exam”: https://www.allaboutvision.com/eye-exam-cost.htm