You may consider yourself one of the lucky ones; you’ve reached a certain age without needing the reading glasses you see others wearing. Even if your eyesight is spot-on – or you think it is – there are several reasons why you still need to see an eye doctor on a regular basis. Eye exams do not revolve solely around current visual acuity. An ophthalmologist will look at the overall health of your eyes to ensure there are no signs of future disease or other problems.
Reasons why eye exams are necessary include:
Statistics on eye diseases alert us that we all need to be mindful of our long-term eye health:
- Diabetic retinopathy affects 7 million people
- Glaucoma affects 7 million people
- Cataracts affect the vision of 24 million people
- 1 million people are affected by age-related macular degeneration
Each of these diseases has the potential to significantly diminish eyesight. Some can cause blindness. What is vital to understand about eye disease is that there aren’t always early warning signs. Sometimes, the first indicator that the eye has been damaged by disease is vision loss.
Changes in visual acuity tend to occur slowly and progress only slightly from one year to the next. Common vision problems that may occur without immediate warning include:
- Refractive errors. The most well-known vision problems are nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Each relates to the way in which light passes through the eye. When a refractive error is found, it can be corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses, or laser eye surgery like LASIK.
- Strabismus. This eye condition in which the eyes turn toward center affects depth perception. Treatment may be needed to prevent the development of amblyopia.
- Amblyopia. Looking at your reflection, your eyes may appear normal. However, a vision exam may identify amblyopia, or the misalignment of the eyes in which one eye may require more correction than the other.
Regular Exams are Necessary for Vision and General Health
Eye diseases often relate to other medical problems. In addition to observing your vision, a thorough eye exam evaluates the structures within your eye. An experienced ophthalmologist can make connections between your eyes and your general health, identifying potential links to high blood pressure, diabetes, and other medical concerns.
Don’t wait for an obvious problem to develop. Schedule a routine eye exam in our Ocala office today. Call (352) 237-8400.