All You Need to Know About Comprehensive Eye Exams
Do you visit your eye doctor regularly for a check-up, or do you wait until there is a problem? Many people are completely unaware of the importance of routine eye exams. According to the recommendations of all eye care specialists, everyone needs to have their eyes examined regularly, regardless of your health condition and age. It is the most reliable way to preserve your long-lasting quality vision and ocular health.
Waiting until you have a complaint about your eyes or vision is a mistake. Our friendly eye doctors in Joint Base Andrews, Dr. Andrea Joseph and Dr. Ashanti Bass, are experienced in performing thorough eye examinations. Read on to learn more about why eye exams are so critical.
Top 3 Reasons for Routine Eye Exams
Your Joint Base Andrews optometrists explain:
1. Sharp Vision
As people age, children and adults, vision changes. With kids, the development of a number of vision conditions is common, such as myopia (nearsightedness), lazy eye, or difficulty with focusing. These problems can interfere significantly with children’s learning, coordination and all-around performance. In general, many kids will adapt to their visual disorder without complaining about their eyes, and as a result, they may be misdiagnosed with a learning or behavioral problem. This underscores the need for regular, professional check-ups of their vision.
Aging in adults often leads to the development of presbyopia, which makes it hard to focus on objects up-close. Reading fine print or doing detailed work becomes a challenge. Even if you’ve always had 20/20 vision, presbyopia will likely affect you after age 40. Only a complete vision exam will be able to verify your current vision prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses.
2. Healthy Eyes
During your Joint Base Andrews eye exam, we will use state-of-the-art diagnostics and the latest digital technology to inspect your retina, optic nerve, and other ocular structures. Many eye diseases, such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataracts, do not cause symptoms until the disease progresses to a later, more damaging stage. However, your eye doctor will be able to identify or rule out these eye diseases during a thorough, detailed eye exam. If we diagnose the start of a problem, we will treat it immediately – and early treatment has a much better success at preventing vision loss.
3. Overall Body Health
Your eyes enable us to see the overall health condition of your body. In particular, certain threatening diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, leave a mark on your inner eye tissues – way before you notice a problem. When left without treatment, these conditions can cause injury to your entire body, including your eyes. If we detect the signs of a systemic disease during your Joint Base Andrews eye exam, we’ll refer you to the most suitable physician in the local area.
What happens during a comprehensive eye exam?
When you first arrive, we’ll become familiar with your medical issues, family eye history, visual condition, and lifestyle needs. Our eye doctors will ask you a series of questions, and we’ll also answer any concerns that you may have.
Our office is outfitted with advanced optometric technology, which we will use to conduct testing. The specific procedures that we administer will depend upon your personal requirements and the judgement of our eye doctor. In general, we evaluate visual acuity, binocularity, eye mobility, accommodation (focusing), and eye health.
Once we have all the results, our eye doctor will discuss them with you. Because we encourage an open, ongoing relationship with our patients, we will work together to design the most appropriate treatment plan. Treatment may include vision correction with eyeglasses or contact lenses, vision therapy, recommendation for surgery, and management of ocular disease.
The AOA also recommends an annual eye exam for any adult who wears eyeglasses or contacts. If you don’t normally need vision correction, you still need an eye exam every year. Doctors often recommend more frequent examinations for adults with diabetes, high blood pressure and other disorders, because many diseases can have an impact on vision and eye health.
If you are over 40, it’s a good idea to have your eyes examined every one to two years to check for common age-related eye problems such as presbyopia, cataracts and macular degeneration.
Because the risk of eye disease continues to increase with advancing age, everyone over the age of 60 should be examined annually.
Some experts estimate that approximately 5% to 10% of pre-schoolers and 25% of school-aged children have vision problems. According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), all children should have their eyes examined at 6 months of age, at age 3 and again at the start of school. Children without vision problems or risk factors for eye or vision problems should then continue to have their eyes examined at every year throughout school.
Children with existing vision problems or risk factors should have their eyes examined more frequently. Common risk factors for vision problems include:
- premature birth
- developmental delays
- turned or crossed eyes
- family history of eye disease
- history of eye injury
- other physical illness or disease
The AOA recommends that children who wear eyeglasses or contact lenses should have their eyes examined at least every 12 months or according to their eye doctor’s instructions. Read more about Pediatric Eye Exams.