Your eyes are not only windows to your soul, but these are also the most important sensory organs of the body. However, without the appropriate eye care, you place your health at risk. Proper eye care does not only involve yourself individually, but also calls for the expertise of a good eye doctor. Quigley Eye Specialists and other eye experts recommend seeing an eye doctor once every two years for people aged 18-60, and once a year for those more than 60 years old.
Here are the benefits of seeing a good eye doctor:
- Checks for vision problems
If you’ve never needed glasses over the years and you still think you have perfect vision, think again. Your vision can change with time, and as you age, that 20/20 vision can change due to several factors, including:
- Medical conditions
- Overall health
- Eye strain
Not knowing about these vision problems can place your daily activities at risk, such as computer use, reading, and driving. However, getting a regular eye checkup can immediately detect vision problems and address these as soon as needed.
Here are some vision problems that need to be corrected at once:
- Amblyopia – one eye requires higher correction than the other eye, or both eyes are misaligned
- Astigmatism, farsightedness and nearsightedness – refractive errors of the eyes that can be addressed using contact lenses, prescription glasses, or laser surgery
- Focusing – adults and children who have trouble focusing can have problems reading and seeing
- Strabismus – also known as turned or crossed eyes, this can affect depth perception
- Detects indications of eye diseases
Many eye diseases can be treated with early detection. Some of these diseases don’t have symptoms that can be felt by the patient but can be detected by an eye doctor. These diseases, if not treated early, can lead to blindness.
- It is the deterioration of the optic nerve, leading to high fluid pressure on the front part of the eye.
- It comes in several forms, but the most common type, known as open-angle glaucoma, is a disease that progresses gradually and without symptoms, which can lead to irreversible vision loss when undetected.
- It can be checked by measuring the fluid pressure inside the eyes.
- Macular degeneration
- This is caused by the decline of the central part of the retina or macula, which causes blind spots and blurred vision.
- It is difficult to detect especially when it affects only one eye. When this happens, the good eye will compensate for the weak one, so it doesn’t show any symptoms.
- Although it doesn’t cause blindness, it can highly affect your quality of life because clear central vision is needed for driving, reading, recognizing faces, or doing detailed work.
- It is diagnosed using a dilated eye exam, Amsler grid test, fluorescein angiography, optical coherence tomography, and indocyanine green angiography.
- It is an eye condition where there is clouding of the eye lens, so vision is impaired.
- It can affect one or both eyes, but can’t be spread from one eye to the other one.
- Although cataracts are common among older people, you don’t have to reach 60 years old to be affected by the disease. People in their 40s and up can have small cataracts but may not notice it since, at an early stage, a cataract does not hinder vision.
- It is only after age 60 when it noticeably affects vision.
- It can be detected by an eye doctor using various tests, including visual acuity test, tonometry, and dilated eye exam.
- Helps detect other health concerns
An eye doctor can also help detect early symptoms of other medical problems that need immediate attention.
Part of the comprehensive eye exam is the evaluation and observation of the retina’s blood vessels and its overall condition. The retina is a good indicator of the overall health of the body’s blood vessels. Some health conditions cause changes in the appearance of the retinal blood vessels and blood supply.
- Hypertension – This is also known as high blood pressure. It is a chronic medical condition where the pressure in the arteries is persistently high. It usually doesn’t show any symptoms. A dilated eye exam can check the blood vessels at the back of the eye and see if they have narrowed, thickened or burst, indicating hypertension and kidney problems.
- Diabetes – This is a disease where blood sugar levels are high. When untreated, diabetes can lead to life-threatening complications. While blood tests can check for blood sugar levels, not everyone will get this test regularly. An eye exam can detect diabetes by checking for hemorrhaging and leaking fluids from the retina.
Even if you have perfect vision, there are many benefits of seeing an eye doctor regularly. Your eyes’ health can deteriorate with time, and vision can change with age or health. Some eye diseases may already be affecting you without showing any symptoms. All of these can be detected with the expertise of a good eye doctor, together with the possibility of detecting other health concerns.