When your vision seems clear, it is easy to ignore other eye-related issues and put off a visit to the eye doctor.
But eye exams can catch early warning signs of conditions that threaten your vision and ensure you continue to see as clearly as possible.
So how can an eye exam protect your vision?
Eye Exams Can Reveal Issues Before You Even Show Symptoms
Avoid Losing Your Sight
Serious sight-threatening conditions, such as glaucoma, are often silent. They may not show any symptoms until the damage is irreparable. Early detection and treatment can save your vision.
Prevent Eye Strain and Headaches
Many individuals are straining their eyes without even knowing it. Minor annoyances, such headaches, are often related to issues with your vision. Your doctor can recommend simple solutions during your eye exam.
Diagnose Health Risks Early
The eyes offer a unique window into the health of your body. During your eye exam, your doctor can see signs of a range of diseases which may otherwise go undiagnosed, including strokes, diabetes, and cancer.
Early Treatment Can Save Your Sight
Early diagnosis and treatment of these disorders can prevent vision loss. The best way to catch the early warning signs of cataracts, glaucoma, or diabetic retinopathy is to attend regular comprehensive eye exams.
Why Should I Pay for an Eye Exam? I Can See Fine...
Many vision and medical insurance plans cover one comprehensive eye exam each year. If you don’t have insurance, you can find eye exams for as little as $50 to $250. Keep in mind that the cost of an eye exam is significantly less than treatment for a severe eye disease. It is much less expensive to prevent an issue from developing or getting worse than to undergo a vision-saving procedure in the future.
What to Expect during Your Exam
During a comprehensive eye exam, your optometrist or ophthalmologist will perform a range of tests to check the health of your eyes. A typical appointment lasts between 45 and 90 minutes, during which your eye doctor will fully evaluate your vision and eye health. The eye and vision tests usually included in an eye exam are:
- Visual acuity tests to measure how sharp your vision is
- A color blindness test to check your color vision
- A cover test to see how your eyes work together
- Ocular motility testing to test your eye movements
- Stereopsis to measure your depth perception
- Retinoscopy to approximate your eyeglass prescription
- Refraction to fine tune the lens power of your glasses
- A slit lamp exam to examine the structures of your eye
- A glaucoma test to measure the pressure in your eye
Depending on the results of these tests, your doctor may recommend others, such as a pupil dilation or a visual field test, to gather more comprehensive data.
Keep Your Eyes Strong and Healthy
While vision screenings can alert you to minor issues, there is no substitute for a comprehensive eye exam. Children should receive their first exam within six months to check if any visual issues could affect their development. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends a visit to the eye doctor every year or two, especially if you are over the age of 65.
Catching the early stages of a vision-threatening disease can mean the difference between saving or losing your sight. Schedule an eye exam today to protect your vision.