Eye Care Professionals can’t say it enough: regular eye exams are essential to preserving your eye health and vision.
Why are they so important? How often should you have your eyes checked? How much does an eye exam cost? We’ve answered those questions for you! Whether you require vision correction or have almost perfect eyesight, eye exams are important.
What is an eye examination test?
Eye exams are as important as general medical check-ups, as eyes are entirely part of health care. A comprehensive eye exam is performed by an optometrist, to analyze your overall eye health. A regular eye exam schedule is critical to ensuring your eyes are healthy and that your prescription is up to date.
Why is an eye exam important?
A complete eye exam will analyze three aspects:
1. Optimizing your vision
Needless to say, good eyesight is essential to your daily life! Vision tests are an important part of the examination. Your Optometrist will test your vision by focusing on different aspects:
- Refractive error: Do you have a vision problem such as hyperopia, myopia, astigmatism or presbyopia?
- Overall perception: Colour vision, depth perception, object tracking with eye movement
- Blurry distance or reading vision
- Eye strain and headaches
- Sports vision for performance
- Safety driving
It’s also important to examine children’s vision to ensure they have full capacity to learn. Low vision can be misdiagnosed as a learning disability.
2. Prevention of sight loss, eye diseases or disorder
Eye exams are also important to ensure your eyes are healthy. Did you know that 1 person out of 7 is at risk of vision loss which can sometimes be caused by diseases or an eye disorder? However, 75% of sight loss is preventable!
Here are different types of sight loss that are potentially preventable through regular observation:
- “Lazy eye” or amblyopia for children, with a cover test and refraction
- Glaucoma, based on your eye pressure, and examination of ocular health
- Diabetic retinopathy, through a slit lamp exam
- Macular degeneration
Eye health is all about prevention. If a disease can be detected before any damage is done, vision loss and blindness can be prevented. Early detection can only be achieved through regular eye examinations.
3. Indication on your overall Health
Eye exams are also important as they can be indicators of your overall health. Through an eye test, Optometrists can detect and diagnose systemic diseases. Some diseases that could be detected during an eye examination include:
- Vascular diseases: Diabetes, high blood pressure or cholesterol
- Neurological diseases such as papilledema, MS, strokes, nerve palsy
- Inflammatory diseases: IBS, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, Graves’ disease
- Cancer: Ocular melanoma, certain brain tumors, familial adenomatous polyposis
How often should you have your eyes examined?
Your eyes should be checked regularly. Depending on your own needs, a Doctor of Optometry will provide you with your eye examination schedule. On average, they should be scheduled annually or semi-annually. As a general guideline:
- People under the age of 19 should have their eyes examined every year to check for healthy visual development.
- Adults should have their eyes examined every 1-2 years for the health of their eyes and to determine any changes in refractive power.
- People over the age of 65 should have their eyes examined every year. As people grow older, they are at a higher risk of developing many serious eye conditions that could be avoided, treated, or corrected with regular eye exams.
- People with diabetes
If there are any changes in your vision, if you feel discomfort, or you see flashing lights, and new floaters you should have your eyes examined as soon as possible.
What is an appropriate age for a child’s first eye exam?
Eye health tests should start at 6-12 months and continue annually thereafter. If there are any concerns regarding a child’s vision, an examination should be arranged as soon as possible.
How can I prevent my vision from getting worse?
A regular eye examination is the best way to ensure healthy eyes and good vision. For optimal eye health, it is important to maintain a well-balanced diet and exercise schedule, and refrain from smoking.
Essential eye care such as examination, healthy habits and following your Eye Care Professional’s instruction will help you maintain good eyesight and happy eyes. To learn a little more on the subject, follow our section on eye care – you’ll find some of our experts’ tips and insight on eye health!
Can I use my eyeglasses prescription to buy over-the-counter contact lenses?
No, contact lenses and prescription glasses are different. To purchase contact lenses, you must first be properly fitted by your Eye Care Professional. Because contact lenses sit on your eye, your prescription will also most likely, be modified to correct the difference in where the corrective lens sits.
Also, the contact lens prescription includes parameters regarding the shape of the lens that best fits your eye and the ideal material for the contact lens that works with the anatomy of your eye.
Why is it important to use a valid contact lens prescription?
An Eye Care Professional needs to assess the health of your eyes, which includes inspecting the corneas and the adjacent tissue that is in contact with the lens to ensure the tissue doesn’t show any signs of contact lens-related complications.
Once this has been confirmed, it is important to assess the fit of the contact lens and ensure optimal vision and comfort.
Book your eye test with Mahdi Opticals and enjoy lasting clarity and happy eyes!
You’re now informed about eye exams and why they are important to preserve your eye health. In addition to these general guidelines, your Eye Care Professional will be able to provide you with a tailored examination schedule based on your eye care needs and will give you precise indication on your health as well as personal instructions to maintain healthy habits.