Why Are Regular Exams Important?

August 01, 2014

You would have known or heard about people who use weighing machine regularly to keep a check on their weight, but how often you meet people who keep a check on the health of their eyes?

It is unfortunate that most people don't realize the significance of having their eyes examined periodically for having healthy eyes, meaning good vision. Regular eye check up is vital to maintain your eyes in good health.

Here's the information gathered as a result of an all inclusive eye check up and the action the doctor may recommend:

  • Checking and correcting reduced vision for people using contact lenses or eyeglasses: The eye doctor can prescribe the lenses that can offer 20/20 or perfect vision for the individual. If the best lenses fail to deliver the desired effects, further investigation is recommended to ascertain the reasons.
  • Testing the alignment of patient's eyes- Some people may have turned or crossed eyes, meaning that the two eyes are unable to work simultaneously. This could be the reason for not achieving a perfect vision and can diminish the sensitivity of eyes.
  • Testing if the eyes are working as a team? When your eyes do not work in unison, you could have problems like eyestrain and headache. This limitation can be serious in case of school going children as they need to read and write as a part of their studies.
  • Testing of focusing skills- This is particularly relevant in case of children. In case of adults, this needs to be checked after attaining an age of forty years, when eyes are unable to focus efficiently. This can be corrected by appropriate prescription.
  • Examining the retina- An examination of the blood vessels of retina allows the examiner to assess if the patient is affected by issues of blood pressure or diabetes. The information can be of great help to another doctor who may be treating the patient.
  • Checking for glaucoma- Though painless, glaucoma could prove to be the cause of losing vision if left untreated.

How frequently the eyes need to be examined?

Opinions on this subject are divided. Some recommend a yearly examination but many consider that to be excessive. So, it is safe to conclude that it should depend on the overall health of patient, age and health history of family. Patients with healthy vision, needing adjustments of prescription may visit the optometrist one time every year. Older patients having an eye disease would do well to increase the frequency of their visit. Nevertheless here are broad guidelines:

  1. It is good to have your eyes examined once every 18-24 months on completing forty years.
  2. On reaching sixty years of age, annual examination is recommended as the risks of developing glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration or other eye ailments is increased.
  3. Diabetics must have an annual eye check up. More frequent examination may be necessitated for those affected by diabetic retinopathy.
  4. Those wearing contact lenses should have their lenses evaluated every year to ensure there are no adverse effects of using lenses.
  5. School going children need regular eye checkups. It is realized that many children have eye problems are mistaken s slow learners of having developmental problems.

On realizing an infection in the eyes, pain in area surrounding eyes or blurry vision, do not delay having a thorough check up of your eyes. Likewise, frequent headaches or heavy squinting indicate vision problems and should be checked without delay.

Prevention is better than cure!

One can take steps to prevent or at least delay the onset of eye related diseases or malfunctioning. The most important is consumption of nutritious diet, which is becoming increasingly difficult with changing lifestyle. Fortunately, supplements are available. Another important and easy but helpful measure is regular exercises for eyes. You may consult a specialist to know the most appropriate exercises for your eyes.

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