It is important to have regular eye exams even if you have 20/20 vision. According to Doctors of Optometry Canada, children should have at least one eye exam between the ages of two and five and yearly after starting school; adults aged 19 to 64 should have an eye exam at least once every two years; and adults over 65 should have an eye exam at least once a year. Regular eye exams by an eye doctor not only ensure you maintain optimal eye health and vision, but they give you peace of mind as well. Here are 5 important reasons you should always have regular eye exams even if you have perfect vision.
Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in Canada. People with diabetes are more likely to develop cataracts (a clouding of the eye’s lens) at a younger age and are twice as likely to develop glaucoma. Your eye doctor will regularly check for diabetes by looking closely at the blood vessels of the eye. Diabetes shows no visible symptoms, and can lead to a number of health issues including diabetic retinopathy, which is caused by dangerously-high blood sugar levels that damage the tiny blood vessels in the retina.
Glaucoma is a disease in which damage to the optic nerve of the eye leads to progressive and permanent vision loss. Only an eye doctor can diagnose glaucoma, which is the leading cause of vision loss and the second leading cause of blindness. The most common form of this disease is called open-angle glaucoma and shows no symptoms, so you may not notice something is wrong until it’s too late and you’ve already suffered vision loss.
Seeing distorted images in front of the eyes are signs of age-related macular degeneration, a disease that affects the macula, the part of the retina that is responsible for the eye’s central vision. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of severe vision loss in people over age 60 and accounts for 90% of new cases of legal blindness in Canada.
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, can cause vision loss by straining the vessels in the eyes and the optic nerve. This condition can cause the blood vessels to either narrow or bleed when they are subjected to too much blood pressure force. In addition, the optic nerve may swell, causing vision loss. An eye doctor can examine and evaluate the condition of the blood vessels in the eye and recommend ways to manage high blood pressure. If left untreated, high blood pressure can cause a stroke, which may lead to brain damage and vision loss.
HIDDEN VISION PROBLEMS
Eye exams for children are crucial in ensuring they are equipped with the visual capabilities and vision skills required to lead safe and active lives at home and in school. Children don’t always know what ‘normal’ vision looks like, and as such they may not complain of vision problems. But hidden, uncorrected vision problems can affect performance in the classroom and may be inaccurately diagnosed as learning or behavioural problems. Regular eye exams will uncover and easily correct any hidden visions problems.
Eye exams are a lot more than just writing a prescription for eyewear and contact lenses; they are a vital part of maintaining your eye health and vision capabilities.
iSight Optometry is a family-friendly and technologically advanced optometry clinic that has been trusted in Kelowna for over 60 years. Our team of optometrists and staff are dedicated to providing the best possible eye care for your entire family. Visit us today to see what we can do for you.