You have perfect vision and no problems with your eyes. Do you really need to get an eye exam? The answer is yes.
How often you should get a comprehensive exam depends on several factors, including your age, but you — and your children — should certainly be getting eye exams regularly, for a variety of reasons.
Window into your health
During a comprehensive eye exam, your doctor at McDonald Eye Care Associates has a unique view of your overall health. You may think about glasses or problems specific to the eyes, such as cataracts, but an eye exam can reveal a number of health problems that are unrelated to your vision.
Issues related to your cardiovascular health, for example, may be apparent during an eye exam. Microscopic clots in the blood vessels of your eyes may be visible to your eye care professional even when you don’t have any other symptoms. High blood pressure and the potential for a stroke are two problems that eye doctors have spotted during routine comprehensive eye exams.
Diabetes is another condition that is often indicated first during an eye exam, along with some cancers, autoimmune disorders, and even some sexually transmitted diseases. You may not have any other symptoms or be in any way aware that there could be a problem.
Your eyes are home to an intricate network of nerves, blood vessels, and delicate tissues. Those structures may reflect problems well before other parts of your body. And often, getting treatment early can lead to better health outcomes for you.
Changes in vision
In addition to providing information about your overall health, an eye exam may reveal changes to your vision that are happening so slowly you’re unaware of them. Sure, you’re likely to notice if you can’t read road signs as well as you used to be able to, or if you’re finding yourself holding your morning newspaper farther and farther away. You may not notice changes in your peripheral vision, though.
Your provider also tests your ability to see in three dimensions, your color perception, the strength of the muscles in your eyes, and the pressure inside your eyes.
Sometimes things change so slowly that you don’t realize the changes are happening. Even if you’ve always had perfect vision, there’s no guarantee that it will remain perfect. Regular, comprehensive eye exams help you monitor your vision more accurately.
How often you should get an exam
If you’re having pain or notice changes in your vision, you should schedule an eye exam right away. Otherwise, the frequency of complete eye exams depends on several factors.
You’re a unique individual with a medical and family history specific to you. We discuss all of those factors with you during your appointment and work out the most appropriate schedule of regular exams with you. Very general guidelines based on age suggest a comprehensive eye exam as follows:
- Children — before entering school, then every year
- Adults 20 to 54 years old — every two years
- Seniors 65 and older — every year
If it’s been awhile since your last exam, book your appointment online or by phone to see one of our experts at McDonald Eye Care Associates and learn the best schedule for your regular, comprehensive eye exams.