When we think about an eye exam many of us associate it with updating our glasses or contact lens prescription. What we don't realize is that the saying “the eyes are window to the soul” is not far off the mark.
Dr. Jackson Gregory Jackson from Premier Medical Eye Group in Mobile Alabama explains:
“ Your eyes can tell a lot about your health. Getting routine eye exams not only can help correct vision problems, it can also find chronic systemic diseases like diabetes. This is why it’s so important to get regular eye exams, no matter how old you are or your physical health you can always use a check-up.”
In fact an eye exam can reveal many different illnesses that reveal themselves through your eyes.
- Autoimmune diseases
- High Blood pressure
- High Cholesterol
- Thyroid Disease
- Skin Cancer
In order to get the full value of an eye exam make sure your optometrist is investing in the latest technology which can reveal a lot about your overall health.
Here’s everything you should know about getting routine eye exams:
What does an eye exam involve?
During an comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor will check a few things. First, they will evaluate your eyes for glasses and contacts. Then they will take a look at how your eyes are working. Finally, they will check your eyes for eye diseases and problems that could lead to vision loss.
Take a look at the chart below to see what your eye doctor will be looking for:
Who should get eye exams?
Adults should have their eyes tested to keep their prescriptions current and check for signs of eye diseases like glaucoma. Children need their eyes regularly examined to insure proper vision development as well as having visual skills needed for school.
How often should you have an eye exam?
Adults should have an eye exam every year due to the risk of glaucoma and macular degeneration. Contact lens wearers should be checked every year. No age is exempt from developing glaucoma. Symptoms are uncommon until it is too late to recover lost vision.
How often should your child have an eye exam?
Children’s eye exams vary, but once a year is average. In recent years there has been a rapid rise in cases of Myopia/Nearsightedness in children, with rates of Myopia in Asia reaching 80-90% of teenagers in Asia and doubling over the past 20 years in the US. The concern with myopia is that it starts at a young age and progresses as the child grows, this progression dramatically increases the risk of many serious eye diseases over the child’s life. Children should be started on a myopia control treatment as soon as myopia is detected.
Vision Screening vs Eye Exam
Vision screenings are limited eye tests that help identify possible vision problems. A vision screening is not as thorough and is not performed by an eye doctor. A comprehensive eye exam is performed by an eye doctor who carefully tests all aspects of your vision and looks for underlying health issues.