If you’re one of the many people who plan to eat better, exercise more, and become healthier as part of a “new year, new you” philosophy, remember to think holistically. Just like you make regular preventive visits to the dentist and your primary care physician, it’s equally important to schedule annual eye exams with an experienced eye care professional.
At In Focus Vision Center & Eyecare in Piscataway and Metuchen, New Jersey, we remind you to schedule eye exams for every member of your family as part of your plan to become healthier. Below, we explain why annual eye exams are essential even if you have 20/20 vision.
Annual exams monitor your eye health and prevent vision loss
Many vision problems and eye diseases begin gradually and are symptomless for years before you even realize there’s a potential for vision loss. Glaucoma is one of these slowly progressing conditions. You could have increased eye pressure — an early sign of glaucoma — and not even know it.
The only way to detect glaucoma in its early stages, before it causes permanent vision loss, is with a comprehensive eye exam. At In Focus Vision Center & Eyecare, your optometrist conducts specific tests to determine if the pressure in your eye is at a healthy level. Even if you have 20/20 vision, you can still be at risk of developing glaucoma as you get older or if you have a family history of the eye disease.
If your doctor does detect any early signs of glaucoma, there are steps you can take and medications available to slow the progression of the disease before it leads to permanent damage.
Your eyes are the window to your overall health and well-being
An annual eye exam allows your doctor to detect the early signs of some systemic health conditions. When your optometrist views the blood vessels in your eyes, your retinas, and other areas, they may be able to tell if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes. Additionally, they check for signs of macular degeneration in your retina — a common problem for men and women with diabetes.
Essentially, an eye exam may help you address overall health conditions as well as preventing vision loss or deterioration of your optical health. Remember: A comprehensive eye exam is different from a simple vision screening in that it involves careful testing of all aspects of your vision as well as the health of your eyes.
Screen time is taking its toll on your eyes
Have you heard the term “digital eye strain”? It’s the result of spending too many hours each day staring at the screens on your smartphones, tablets, computers, and televisions. We live in the digital age, so it only makes sense that extensive screen time is now a factor in your overall eye health.
When you stare at a screen more than 11 hours a day, as the average American adult does, it’s bound to affect your vision and your eye health. Staring at screens so many hours a day can lead to insufficient blinking and lubrication on the surface of your eyes. This may lead to dry eye syndrome — a condition that affects nearly half of adults in the United States.
Dry eye symptoms often include red, tired eyes and a gritty feeling. And while you may still be able to see clearly, you most likely experience major discomfort after staring at a screen for so many hours every day. When all this screen time begins to affect your vision, you can end up with digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome.
Prevention is the key when it comes to eye health and your overall well-being. As with every other aspect of your health, early detection of vision problems increases your treatment options and can very well prevent many forms of age-related eye conditions and permanent vision loss.
Being proactive in your life can make a huge difference. Take the first step toward the best eye health for your entire family. Call the In Focus Vision Center & Eyecare location closest to you or request an appointment online today.