The importance of vision screenings

We try our best to live healthy lifestyles, go to the doctor when we’re sick and take care of our longer-term health issues, but many people forget that eye exams are just as important as yearly health checkups. Annual eye examinations are a great way to keep your eyes healthy and protected. 

When should you get your first eye examination?

Eye exams can be needed at any stage of life. A pediatrician might recommend your young and school-aged children get an exam if they think there could be an issue such as a lazy eye, crossed eyes, misaligned eyes or if they’re exhibiting signs that they can’t see well. Adults should get their eyes examined once every two years to make sure their eyes are still healthy and to see if glasses are needed or need to be updated. Elderly people should go to the eye doctor every year to check for any age-related issues like macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma. At any age, you should see a doctor if you experience any problems with your eyesight.

Why should you get your eyes re-evaluated?

Going to a routine eye exam can help catch issues at early stages. The earlier an issue is found, the easier it can be to treat and/or correct it. Catching an issue early can decrease the chances of needing more invasive procedures later. You should also get your eyes checked to see if you might need to start wearing glasses to help you see better. Glasses wearers should get reevaluated to see if their prescriptions are still up-to-date or need to be altered. 

What can I expect during an eye exam?

During an eye exam, your doctor will check how clearly you can see, how your eyes are aligned and how the muscles in your eyes move. You’ll read letters off of an eye chart, and your doctor will use a device called a phoropter. This device has different lenses in it to test what adjustments help make your vision clearer. Your doctor could also put drops in your eyes to dilate your pupils. Dilating your pupils is normal and can help the doctor see different parts of the eyes like the cornea, blood vessels, retina and optic nerve. Your doctor will also use a machine to blow a small puff of air onto your eye in an eye pressure test, which is used to check for glaucoma. 

If you can’t remember the last time you had your eyes checked, it’s probably time to set up an appointment. The Wellness and Stress Clinic can help refer Memphians to vision specialists to improve their overall health and strengthen their sight. Call 901-306-5433 to schedule your appointment today.