Routine eye exams are an important part of maintaining overall health. As with annual physical
or dental exams, it is extremely important to have you your eyes examined regularly, regardless
of how keen your eyesight is, scheduling regular eye exams according to the American
Association of Ophthalmology recommendations, is a great way to stay on top of your overall
Adults should have an eye exam every 1-2 years, depending on any existing vision problems,
eye conditions or being diagnosed with significant risk factors, such as diabetes, high blood
pressure, thyroid disease or previous eye injuries or family history. The doctor will recommend a
frequency for routine follow-up exams based on the patient’s medical history, for instance, a
diabetic person needs a dilated eye exam every year, contact lenses wearers need exams
every year, to look for changes that might affect lens fit and eye health.
Regular eye exams will also ensure that glasses prescriptions or contact lenses are current,
and offer an opportunity for checking early signs of diseases. Adults older than 60 years, should
have an eye exam each year, as age-related eye problems are more common.
It may be important to see a doctor more frequently in case of experiencing any of the following:
➢ Blurry vision or loss of vision. If it’s more difficult to see things near and/or far away, and perform basic tasks.
➢ Flashing light in eye.
➢ Eye floaters, or small spots that appear in vision.
Eye exams aren’t important just for the sake of vision, routine eye exams can help identify a
variety of problems ranging from cognitive decline to diabetes. Since, the eye is an extension of
the brain, and the only part of the body where blood vessels and tissue are visible. This allows
an eye doctor to detect other types of warning signs or the early stages of different health
problems, such as diabetes signs as bleeding in the eye or swelling in parts of the retina.
Besides diabetes, there are several other health problems that may be detected during an eye
exam, including; brain tumors as a brain tumor may cause swelling of the optic nerve,
rheumatoid arthritis, as one sign of rheumatoid arthritis or other autoimmune disorders may be
dry eyes, which can be detected during a routine eye exam. Also, eyelid skin cancer as eyelid
is very sensitive to ultraviolet rays, it may be one of the first places affected by different types of
skin cancers. Thus, any spots or affected areas may be detected before skin cancer can spread
to other parts of the body. In addition to high blood pressure, where blood vessels in the back
of the eye may appear bent or leaking, narrowing of the vessels in the retina, and swelling of the
optic nerve. In addition to, hypertensive retinopathy in its earliest stages.
Some progressive eye diseases are not immediately apparent, and should be tested for during
regular eye examination. These include:
➢ Glaucoma; a chronic progressive eye disease, it has no early symptoms or pain in the
initial stages. Glaucoma is the buildup of pressure within the eye which causes damage
to the optic nerve and can lead to a loss of peripheral vision or a complete loss of vision.
➢ Macular degeneration; an eye condition that causes damage to the eye retina.
➢ Cataracts; are the most common cause of blindness in the world. They occur when the
lens of the eye becomes less flexible with age. Blurred or foggy vision and sensitivity to
light are common symptoms. Cataracts are easily corrected with outpatient surgery.
Vision changes can have a profound effect on a person’s day-to-day life. Early,treatments can
help slow or stop vision loss, so regular eye exams can help ensure a lifetime of clear sight.