5 Reasons Why Eye Exams Are Important for Your Health

Many people underestimate the importance of eye exams. They assume that regular screenings are enough while overlooking that good health and proper vision require routine checkups.

A typical exam includes a review of your family medical history, current medication and any eye or health conditions. Your doctor will also perform a visual acuity test using a chart of letters and numbers, which measures your ability to read them at various distances.

Early Detection of Eye Diseases

Eye diseases like glaucoma and cataracts can lead to vision loss and blindness if untreated early. Regular dilated eye exams can detect these conditions in the earliest stages, often before symptoms appear.

Eye doctors use a slit lamp to illuminate your eyes, allowing them to check for abnormalities in the shape and color of your pupil, cornea, iris and lens. Abnormalities can signify many health problems, including thyroid disease, autoimmune disorders, and cancer.

Another important test is tonometry, which measures the pressure in your eye (intraocular pressure). High pressure can be a sign of glaucoma. This is also a condition that can be treated with medication. This is a key reason why getting your eyes examined regularly is important.

Early Detection of High Blood Pressure

A routine eye exam Wellington may seem like a simple vision test, but it can reveal important information about your overall health. For example, an eye doctor can check the blood vessels in your retina for signs of high blood pressure, a common condition that affects people of all ages.

During the exam, your eye doctor will measure your visual acuity (sharpness), depth perception and eye alignment. They may also put drops in your eyes that enlarge your pupils, giving them a better view of the inside of your eye.

For a more detailed look at the back of your eye, your doctor can use a slit lamp. This bright light gives them a magnified view of the cornea, iris, lens and other parts of your eye.

Early Detection of Diabetes

The eye doctor can look for signs of diabetic retinopathy when high blood sugar levels damage tiny vessels in the retina. This damage can cause the retina to swell and leak, which could lead to vision loss. During this exam, the eye doctor shines a light into the eyes to check the cornea, iris, lens and anterior chamber for signs of diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma and detached retinas. Using a tonometer device, they also test the fluid pressure inside the eye (intraocular pressure). The doctor will insert drops to expand the pupil and get a better view of these structures.

Early Detection of Eye Allergies

During a comprehensive eye exam, your doctor will shine a beam of light at your eyes to look for signs of swollen blood vessels or other abnormalities. She will also ask about your family’s health history and prescription medications.

Allergies to pollen, dust or smoke often cause itchy, watery eyes. These symptoms can also indicate eczema and asthma.

Your eye doctor may also use a machine called a slit lamp to check the cornea, iris and lens for abnormalities. She will also measure the pressure in your eyes (intraocular pressure) using a tonometer tool.

While many believe that a basic vision screening is all they need, a regular eye exam can reveal important information about your overall eye health. Make a routine eye exam a part of your preventative care plan to keep your eyes and body healthy for years to come.

Early Detection of Eye Trauma

Even mild trauma to the eye can cause blindness. You must tell your eye doctor if you experience any injuries to the eye or face as soon as possible.

During your exam, your eye doctor will check your visual acuity, depth perception and how your eyes work together. They will also check the condition of your retinal blood vessels and examine your pupils’ reactions to light.

Regular eye exams can reveal many health problems, like high blood pressure and diabetes. They can also help detect signs of an autoimmune disorder, such as lupus or multiple sclerosis, and they can even detect cancer in the eye, such as retinoblastoma. If these are caught early, they can often be treated with success.