A recent trip to the optometrist prompted me to consider the necessity of an annual visit to the eye doctor. Is it really necessary to check my vision every year? As I sat staring at a spot on the wall while the doctor shined his light into the side of my eye, I wondered what he might be looking to find. It turns out that for a contact wearer, such as myself, there is a lot that needs to be checked. From microscopic abrasions to the very curvature of your cornea, the FDA regulated medical devices called contacts can cause damage to your eye. Lack of oxygen to the cornea due to contacts has been known to cause abnormal growth in blood vessels in the eye. In most cases the devices are perfectly safe to wear, but an annual checkup will allow you to be sure you are not doing yourself harm by wearing them.
At the age of forty it becomes even more important to honor the annual rite. This is the time when your doctor will look for early warning signs for diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts. An annual exam will help your doctor detect problems early and early detection is key in battling diseases of the eye.
If you’re a diabetic, the risk increases for diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy. In such cases, treatment is critical and early detection is crucial to your vision. An annual eye exam for a diabetic is a must and should not be ignored. If your diabetes is not under control, your doctor may advise even more frequent exams.
By the age of sixty, an annual eye exam should be routine. Your risk for eye disease grows exponentially as you age and the possibility of blindness or loss of vision is greater. Your eyesight is a great asset at any age and should and can be protected with regular exams.
A person under the age of forty with no visual problems can get away with visiting the optometrist once every eighteen months, but anything more is too long to go without an eye exam. So protect your vision. Call your doctor today and schedule your next appointment, put it on your calendar and don’t miss it. A forty-five minute appointment can make all the difference in how you see the world.
Troy Bedinghaus, O.D., Yearly Eye Exam, About.com