Having an annual eye examination is the best way to detect eye problems before they become serious. An eye examination can also reveal signs and symptoms of other diseases. With technology advancing all the time, an eye exam can allow you to take advantage of the latest diagnostic tests and treatments. Read below for the latest information on eye examinations.
What Do Eye Examinations Tell You?
An eye exam will pick up near-sightedness, far-sightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia, which is when you lose near-focus vision. Changes in your vision it will detect are cataracts, macular degeneration, low vision, and a detached retina. Low vision can’t be fixed by surgery or with glasses and has two types: partially sighted and legally blind. Other eye problems are crossed eyes and lazy eyes. A person may also have cancer of the eye.
Eye examinations can indicate other medical conditions not related to the eyes. High blood pressure can be detected by damage to the blood vessels which includes narrowing, swelling, hardening, and leaking. This can affect your eyesight as well as put you at risk of a heart attack or stroke. If you have blood clots in the back of the eyes, this could indicate a pending stroke. Blue, grey, or white rings around the iris point toward high cholesterol.
Diabetes signs are flecks of blood and co-occur with diabetic retinopathy, the foremost cause of blindness. Various autoimmune conditions associated with eye indicators are rheumatoid arthritis, Graves, Sjogren’s disease, and lupus. Cancer, hormonal imbalance, and multiple sclerosis can also be detected.
The Dangers of Skipping Eye Examinations
Slight changes in the eyes can be picked up with routine eye examinations before they progress. Poor eyesight or blindness can prevent you from seeing danger and averting it. Your doctor could discover that you have a neurological problem as the brain and optic nerve are connected. This will present as extensive dilation of the pupil, blurring, and pain.
Signs of allergic conjunctivitis are red, itchy eyes with tearing or a stinging/burning sensation. This points to allergies that affect the system, not only the eyes, for example, atopic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis, and asthma.
Normal eye health can deteriorate from 20/20 vision between one year and the next, emphasizing the need for regular check-ups. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, these may no longer work for you due to changes in your vision. Symptoms of the wrong eyewear are headache, nausea, dizziness, and blurring. Catch eye problems before they become irreversible.
How Are Eye Examinations Done?
An eye chart is used to test each eye individually for 20/20 vision or less. A phoropter device is used with the eye chart to test different lenses for a perfect fit. Modern medical screening devices simplify eye examinations. The doctor will shine a bright light into your pupils, which should contract. If not, you may have multiple sclerosis or a neurological problem. Peripheral vision is checked to see if you still have side vision or blind spots. This loss of vision could indicate glaucoma. The ocular motility test assesses your eye muscles and for the alignment of the two eyes or issues such as crossed eyes.
The risks of not doing annual eye exams are serious. You may miss out on early signs of other diseases or not realize and treat problems that could affect your vision adversely.
Image by Nathan Dumlao