There is a common misconception that only people who wear eyeglasses or contacts should see an optometrist for an eye exam each year. The truth is that nearly everyone — from young children who are getting their checkups to seniors who are at risk for degenerative conditions — can benefit from a visit to their local optometrist. Take a look below at just a few of the most important reasons why.
Establishing a Baseline
It is unfortunately common for individuals to experience issues with their eyesight at some point in their lives. These issues can be substantially more difficult to diagnose, however, if no health baseline has been recorded by your optometrist in the first place. This baseline allows them to not only track similarities and differences in your overall condition over a long period of time, but also to more confidently evaluate these findings and prescribe the necessary treatment.
Getting Prescription Eyewear
If you don't currently wear eyeglasses or contacts, but suspect you might need some, then a visit to the eye doctor should be at the top of your to-do list. There are so many reasons why wearing prescription eyewear can be beneficial — beyond just making things in front of you a little less blurry: they can cause headaches, increase the risk of tripping over an object and injuring yourself in a fall, and even make driving an activity that is more hazardous than routine. An optometrist can work with you to find an eyewear solution that works best for you and your lifestyle.
Undergoing an Ophthalmoscopy
Many people assume that issues with eyesight are only caused by particular conditions such as glaucoma, which involve physiological systems directly related to the eye. Yet some of the most serious problems are caused by more general, chronic conditions such as diabetes. Such conditions can, if left untreated, ultimately lead to cataracts and a total loss of eyesight. To prevent this, optometrists are trained to conduct an ophthalmoscopy — an examination in which light is directed through the pupil in order to illuminate the back of the eye. This can reveal a detached retina, signs of macular degeneration, or other serious problems that require treatment.
Whether you are lucky enough to have 20/20 vision, are considering getting eyeglasses or contacts, or need immediate medical treatment for a more serious condition, visiting a trusted eye doctor in your area can prove hugely beneficial.