You get a physical every year and you go to the dentist for regular cleanings, but you never remember to make appointments to make sure your vision prescription is up to date. February is Low Vision Awareness Month, so what better time to talk about six reasons you should have a vision screening?
Has it been more than a year since your last exam?
It’s highly recommended you get an eye exam at least once a year. That way your doctor can update your prescription as necessary and check for any other diseases that may impede your vision, such as cataracts or glaucoma.
“Routine eye exams are very important to monitor ocular health,” CEENTA Ophthalmologist Rachel Sabo, MD, said. “Many eye diseases are initially asymptomatic and early detection can be an important component in preserving sight.”
Do you have to hold books farther away from your eyes than you used to?
Squinting or having to hold objects farther away from your eyes is one of the most obvious signs that your eye prescription has changed. Going for an eye exam and getting new glasses or contact lenses is the best way of straining your eyes or causing other discomfort.
Have you tried using an app?
Some people have started using apps for the smartphones or tablets to check their vision. While these apps may be able to tell you if you have 20/20 vision or not, what they can’t do is check your eyes for more serious conditions like cataracts or glaucoma. Some vision conditions, like glaucoma, are irreversible, so if you don’t get your eyes checked in person, you could cause yourself vision problems down the road.
Do you have diabetes?
It is very important you get your eyes checked regularly if you have diabetes. Diabetes can lead to several eye problems, including cataracts, glaucoma, double vision, and diabetic retinopathy. If retinal disease is noted, your doctor may ask you to come in more frequently. Diabetes is the most common cause of irreversible vision loss among working age adults, and if you are diabetic and notice problems with your eyesight, it is usually late in the disease.
Do you have a family history of eye disease?
If your relatives have a history of glaucoma, macular degeneration, or other eye conditions, you are at a greater risk of also developing these conditions. Since they could reduce your vision and some of them aren’t reversible, it’s important to get checked and treated early to prevent vision loss.
Do you have a child?
Regular eye exams are very important for children. More than 80 percent of information in the classroom is presented visually, and having low vision may put them at a disadvantage as they try to learn.
CEENTA has more than 40 eye doctors who would love to examine your vision and help make your eyes healthy.
“A visit with your eye doctor is a good opportunity to address any vision-related concerns you may have as well as any options that we can use to help you get your best vision possible,” Dr. Sabo said.