An annual eye exam is about more than just updating your prescription for contacts or glasses. While this is important to ensure you're seeing to the best of your ability, there are other reasons a visit is crucial at least twice a year. A routine eye exam can detect other serious health problems before you're even experiencing symptoms. Did you know that many people first learn they have serious health conditions like brain tumors, high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, and even cancer from a routine eye exam?
Our eyes are a very effective window to our overall health. During a comprehensive eye exam, your doctor can observe and evaluate the health and condition of the blood vessels in your retina. These are a good predictor of the health of the blood vessels throughout your body. Conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and hypercholesterolemia all are visible by changes in the appearance of the retinal blood supply and blood vessels. Your doctor will also look for eye muscle imbalance, vision disorder, and eye disease that could potentially cause future problems.
Many people wait until they notice a change in their vision to see a doctor. But eye problems are often silent - meaning they have no symptoms, which can be dangerous if you are waiting to see a change before making an appointment.
Annual eye exams are especially important for anyone with diabetes or who might be at risk for the disease (due to obesity, family history, etc). More than 30 million Americans with diabetes and another 84 million are at risk for developing diabetic eye disease which is a leading cause of blindness among adults. In its early stages, diabetic eye disease has zero visible symptoms; only a comprehensive eye exam can detect signs of the disease. The sooner treatment is sought, the likelier the vision can be preserved. If no treatment is given, vision loss will ensue.
So you've had a vision screening? It's not the same as a complete exam. Screenings are partial, limited eye evaluations that take place outside an eye doctor's office. While they can be helpful in detecting some problems with vision, it is a limited exam. At your optometrist's office, a thorough eye exam takes deeper look at your vision and how it affects your overall health. Eye history and family history are also considered as a preventative measure to stop eye disease before it begins.
What are you waiting for? Don't put it off any longer. Even if you think you have perfect vision, an annual eye exam can be one of the best things you can do to protect your overall health and wellness. Start the new year right with a visit to Kirkwood Eye Associates.
9/24/2019 01:36:02 pm
Wow, it's interesting that many people have discovered they have serious health conditions during their routine eye exam. My children have never had an eye exam. What you said was very interesting and important to me. I'll take my family to a professional so they can get an eye exam.
10/15/2019 10:31:29 am
It was interesting when you said that many eye problems have no symptoms. I haven't had an eye exam in a long time because my vision's been fine. Thanks for helping me see why regular eye care is important regardless of symptoms!
I'm glad that you mentioned how annual eye exams are especially important for anyone with diabetes or who might be at risk for the disease because my mom is diabetic. I still haven't presented any vision difficulties, but after reading the reasons you elaborated on, there's no doubt that I will be searching for an eye doctor to get an exam soon. Thank you for the information!
10/30/2019 11:05:52 am
My vision has gone blurry lately since I can no longer see the things I'm reading even if I put glasses on. It's true that eye problems are silent and have no symptoms, so I'll be sure to have a routine eye exam done now. I think I'll go to a doctor to have myself checked so that I can get a new replacement for my glasses.
11/18/2019 12:38:58 pm
I like how you mentioned that an eye exam can detect other serious issues. Since my eyesight has always been good for most of my life I never found any reason to get an eye exam, but after learning this information I can see how important it can be. I'll have to look into finding an optometrist so I can get annual eye exams.
12/27/2019 08:01:55 am
It's good to know that diabetes can lead to an eye disease that's the leading cause of blindness in adults. I know that my family has a history of diabetes, although I try to stay on top of that. Maybe I should also look into getting my eyes checked regularly so they can detect early signs of that and other eye diseases if necessary.
2/26/2020 02:25:37 pm
Thanks for explaining that an eye exam can evaluate the health of the blood vessels in our eye, which can be indicative of the blood vessel health throughout the rest of our body. Now that I'm getting older, I want to start being more responsible about accurately monitoring my health through preventative care. I'm glad I read your article and learned why regular eye exams are something I need to prioritize!
3/27/2020 09:57:44 am
I liked that you mentioned annual eye exams will help you to identify any risk of diseases. My husband and I are thinking about how to improve our eye health, and we are looking for advice about what to do. I will let him know about your recommendations to help him understand the benefits of annual eye exams to prevent future problems.
4/1/2020 12:09:43 pm
It stood out to me when you said that our eyes service as an effective window to get a picture of our overall health. My husband and I both agree that we want to start doing better at prioritizing preventative healthcare now that we're both over 50. Thanks for helping me see why getting regular eye exams should be an important component of our new goal!
6/23/2020 12:19:14 pm
Wow, thank you for informing me that my eyes can actually show signs of things like diabetes. I had no idea! For the last couple of days, my vision has been quite blurry, and I'm not sure why. I wonder if I should look into eye exams in my area that could help inform me of what is going on.
7/23/2020 11:05:25 am
It's interesting to know that an eye exam can help you to identify other health problems. My husband and I are thinking about how to keep our vision in good shape, and we are looking for advice. I will let him know about your recommendations to choose the right eye professional to help us.
7/27/2020 05:20:00 am
There are many eye problems that are not noticeable to the patient, but that is already causing problems. Even some people who wear glasses or contacts only go in to have their vision checked. A comprehensive eye exam from an optometrist or ophthalmologist can detect eye problems before they steal your vision. Annual eye exams are an important part of preventive health care. Just as you should see your dentist and general physician each year, you should visit your eye doctor as well. So, if you are looking for any consultation I recommend you visit Golden Vision at California if it is not reachable then you can contact them through call or visit their website.
11/26/2020 12:39:57 pm
You made a good point on how important eye exams are since they help you figure out if you have severe eye conditions or not. I should share this with my friend, who told me that he's experiencing bouts of blurry vision lately. This way, he could get treatment options from an eye doctor before it turns into something worse.
8/5/2021 10:47:19 am
It is really interesting that conditions like diabetes hypertension and hypercholesterolemia can be detected by visible changes in your eye. I have always thought that eye exams were just for getting a new prescription in your glasses. Thanks for informing me that eye exams do more than just that.
8/12/2021 01:02:07 pm
My brother has been thinking about getting an eye exam because he has been having a lot of problems seeing things that are close up. He would really like to get some help from a professional in order to understand how he can see better. I liked what you said about how screening can be more limited because it is only a partial exam, and it doesn't look at how it affects his overall health.
9/28/2021 05:29:55 pm
Thank you for mentioning how important it is to preemptively get a checkup from an optometrist. Avoiding vision loss is something middle-aged men like me really want to stay on top of, so I can see how doing preventive methods is a much better mindset. I'll look for an optometrist right away so they can assist me with this.
7/19/2022 08:59:11 pm
The segment of your article that talked about how eye conditions can develop even when you don't notice them yet was really alarming. I vaguely recall experiencing a blurry vision episode lately, but I couldn't tell if it was something I needed to worry about or if I can just ignore it. As soon as I find an optometrist in the area, I'll ask them to help me get an eye exam for myself done.
7/20/2022 03:49:49 pm
Recently, we found out one of our uncles had an eye disease, and it looks like it'd be hereditary. It really helped when you talked about eye exams and how they'd detect unnoticeable diseases, so I'll make sure to find an eye doctor for the family this week. I appreciate your information on eye exams and why we need one each year.
3/29/2023 04:18:19 pm
I had no idea that an optometrist could find other major health issues during an examination. This is because, during an eye exam, the health of the blood vessels in your retina is a reliable indicator of the condition of the blood vessels throughout your body. I believe it would be advantageous for my friend to undergo an eye exam because she hasn't had one and I think it would be for the best. I'll be sure to let her know about this and look for a local optometrist so we can make an inquiry.
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Andrew Biondo, OD, FSLS is the Primary Medical Director at Kirkwood Eye Associates in Kirkwood, MO. Serving the greater St. Louis area, Dr. Biondo has 12 years of experience as an eye care provider, health educator & consultant to the specialty contact lens industry. His special interests include contact lenses, dry eye disease, glaucoma, macular degeneration, laser eye surgery & preventive vision care.