Taking care of your eyes is important in preserving your vision. The World Health Organization says that 80% of serious visual impairment around the world can be avoided or cured. Eyes exams not only find vision problems, but they can also reveal other health problems such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and HIV. For example, blood vessel leaks, bleeding in the eye, and inflammation of the Macula are all caused by diabetes, and they can lead to vision loss.
During an eye exam a doctor is assessing the health of the eyes. According to the Mayo Clinic, the doctor checks the exterior, lid, area around the eye, optic nerve, retina and cornea. As the doctor uses a bright light to check the eye, he or she is looking for signs of macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts and other serious conditions that can lead to visual impairment.
Eye exams are important to people of all ages. Adults need to keep their vision prescription up to date and get checked for signs of eye diseases. It is extremely important for children to get tested in order to be able to continue normal vision development. Eye doctors are able to check for:
- Refractive errors - nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism
- Amblyopia - impaired or dim vision
- Strabismus - abnormal alignment of the eyes
- Binocular vision problems
- Focusing problems
- Eye disease
- Other diseases
Vision impairment is most commonly caused by uncorrected refractive errors, which can easily be treated. Eye care and eyewear can be expensive to fix these issues, but vision insurance can help lower the cost. Not only can vision insurance cover eye exams, but some plans will also help pay for glasses, contact lenses, LASIK and PRK surgeries.
According to LIVESTRONG, babies should get an eye exam every six months. From the age of 3, children should receive an eye exam between once a year and once every two years. Anyone who wears glasses or contacts should get an eye exam every year. From age 20 to 39, a person who doesn’t wear corrective lenses should go every two or three years as long as they are not having any vision problems. Anyone over the age of 40 without eye conditions or corrective lenses should have a routine eye exam every one or two years and get screened for age-related eye disease. Anyone over the age of 60 should have eye exams every year and check for both vision changes and eye disease.
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