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5 Reasons to Get Regular Eye Exams

December 09, 2016

Your eyes are the windows to your soul, but did you know that they also hold the key to many diseases? That’s why regular eye exams are important – especially for those are at risk for diabetes and high blood pressure.

Eye exams do more than just check your prescription. Here are five reasons to get regular eye exams:

  1. They help you and your eye doctor notice any changes in your eyes.
  2. They help catch early symptoms of disease.
  3. They’re help you stay on top of your overall physical and eye health.
  4. Early detection means you can correct any issues faster and easier.
  5. Early detection also means lower medical bills.
Eye exams are a first line of defense

Did you know eye doctors are often the first to notice signs of diabetes and high blood pressure? It’s true! Some of the side effects of diabetes are eye problems including cataracts, glaucoma and retinopathy. Retinopathy, or retina damage at the back of the eye, can cause loss of vision and even lead to blindness. Annual eye examinations are crucial in catching these eye problems early so treatment can start immediately.

High blood pressure can also be detected with regular eye exams. If you have eye pain or blurry vision, you might be surprised to find out it’s not simply a vision issue – it could be a sign of high blood pressure. If your eye doctor notices traces of blood in your eye or other symptoms in your retina, he’ll advise you to see your family doctor for a more thorough physical exam.

What eye screenings should you get?

Besides the basic vision test – reading the chart starting with the big “E” – there are a few other eye tests you should get every year:

  • If you wear glasses, the refraction test evaluates the power of your eye to focus. This lets the doctor know if you are nearsighted, farsighted or have astigmatism.
  • A reflection test allows the doctor to fit you for contact lenses.
  • An annual glaucoma test measures your eye pressure because high eye pressure can be a sign of glaucoma.
  • The eye focusing, eye teaming and eye movement tests find out how well your eyes focus, move and work together.

Once these tests are done, if any issues beyond eye health are found, your eye doctor may refer you to your family doctor. It’s important to get these annual tests – even if you haven’t noticed any changes in your vision – to detect any problems while they’re still in their early stages.