Eye Care: Why Annual Exams Are Important: Do you know what type of health measure does not cost an unreasonable amount of money, is completely painless, and should be a routine part of your preventative health care? The answer is your annual eye exam! While eye examinations may be recommended more frequently for those who have special concerns, an annual exam is the best way for healthy adults to ensure a lifetime of good vision.
If your eyesight is currently fine, you may be uncertain as to why it is so important to include annual eye exams as a routine part of your overall health care. The reason for this is so any problems can be determined and treated as early as possible, with fewer potential difficulties in the longrun. If you are like most people, you may prefer to know in advance what you can expect during an eye exam– what procedures will take place, and what each will accomplish.
Glaucoma is a progressive eye condition which causes numerous vision-related problems and can result in blindness. While most people who have difficulties associated with glaucoma are older people, most eye doctors these days have stopped limiting testing for this condition to those over aged thirty, as was usually the practice in the past, concluding that the earlier glaucoma is detected the sooner it can be treated.
There are two widely-used tests for glaucoma. The test commonly referred to as “the puff test” is a simple procedure; to the patient, it feels as if a little puff of air is blown into his or her eyes. The other test is done by putting a small amount of eyedrop into your eye. While this procedure may be a bit annoying, it is neither painful nor uncomfortable. Whichever test your eye doctor feels would be best for you, checking the pressure within your eyes goes a long way in diagnosing a potential problem and helping you to have the best possible eye health.
You may already be familiar with the machine which contains a variety of lenses. When your doctor flips these lenses in front of your eyes, asking you to state which ones appear clearest to you, this is the method used to determine the specific corrective lenses that are right for you. You may think of this procedure as being like trying on many different pairs of eye glasses, to find the lenses which are the perfect “fit” just for you!
The inner workings of your eyes will be checked by a device called a slit lamp. Many conditions, which have the potential to be debilitating to your vision, can be detected by this simple procedure. It is not at all complicated– it is an easy method of magnifying the inner structure of your eye so that these problems, if they exist, can be readily seen by your doctor.
If your doctor has requested in advance that you bring a pair of dark glasses with you to your examination, this is for the purpose of a dilation exam. While some eye doctors do this as a routine part of eye exams and others only perform it when they believe it is necessary, the purpose of a dilation exam is to determine the presence of any hidden eye disease.
As you can see, “the basics” of an annual eye exam are not difficult at all– and it is the best step you can take for good eye health!