You may have heard that prevention is the best medicine, and for many things, that's true. Regularly scheduled checkups are part of preventing the onset of certain illnesses. Your doctor doesn’t recommend an eye exam every six months, year, or two years for his own benefit. He’s carefully evaluating your current state of health and developing a cycle of care that makes sense for you. Here are some reasons to take those recommendations seriously and have regular checkups.
Eyes Change Quickly
Some people will experience a gradual onset of certain conditions, such as macular degeneration or cataracts. Others conditions, however, may start to affect you suddenly. At first, you may not know the damage is occurring within the structure of your eye. Your ophthalmologist has the ability to look in your eye and take note of potentially dangerous changes. Catching early warning signs of illness could be your best chance for your eye health or eyesight.
Many Conditions Affect the Eye
There are many things your doctor might discover during an eye exam. A routine eye exam typically evaluates refractive error (your current vision capabilities) and checks for various conditions ranging from disease to strabismus (crossed eyes). There are many conditions, some of which you may not be familiar with, that your doctor is looking for when you hop into the chair. Focusing problems, eye teaming problems, astigmatism, loss of color distinction, and disease are a few of the conditions that your doctor may discover.
Eye Health Reflects Bodily Health
Your eye doctor has a unique capability. When looking at your eyes during an exam, he may notice certain signs or symptoms that indicate poor health elsewhere in the body. For instance, if you have the symptoms of retinopathy (retina disease), it may indicate that you have an underlying problem with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Your doctor can also see high blood pressure in the vessels of the eye. Everything in your body is connected, which is why it’s important to give your eyes, teeth, and body the care they deserve.
Vision Screenings Aren’t Enough
Determining your current vision level is only part of a comprehensive eye exam. Undergoing routine screenings may help your vision while you are driving home from work, but they could miss symptoms of other health issues that need attention. Take the time and make the investment to get a comprehensive eye exam from an ophthalmologist or an optometrist.
Other Benefits of Regular Checkups
In addition to these primary reasons, there are extras you will pick up at an eye exam. Your doctor’s practice is constantly evolving with new research and discoveries. At an eye exam, you may also learn which supplements and foods are best for someone with your type of eye health. You may also learn more about how to look out for other symptoms at home. This added educational experience helps you take proactive control over your eye health.