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October 01, 2021

Why you should be getting an eye exam annually

Adult Health Vision

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Do you remember the last time you had your eyes checked? Many people put off going to an eye doctor until they notice a change in their vision, but there are significant benefits to scheduling an appointment each year.

During a complete eye exam, the doctor evaluates your vision and checks your eyes for diseases. The exam can also provide important insights into your overall health.

The importance of preventive care

Testing your vision is only a small part of an annual eye exam. Doctors also look for eye diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. Most eye diseases are easier to treat when they’re caught early. This is especially true if you are overweight, have a family history of eye disease, or are diabetic — conditions which increase the risk of eye disease.

Many eye diseases don’t have symptoms or warning signs, so preventive care is the only way to identify them early. Correcting issues with your vision quickly can also help reduce eye strain, headaches, and other uncomfortable symptoms. Additionally, an eye exam can identify many other health problems, including high blood pressure and diabetes.

Updating prescriptions

If you wear contact lenses, you need to see your eye doctor annually to receive a new prescription. You may also need to return to your doctor to update the prescription on corrective lenses, or if you have medication related to other eye disorders.

What to expect at your exam

Getting an annual eye exam is easy. Like most visits, it will start with questions and a medical history overview. You will be asked to complete a vision test using a Snellen chart, which is followed by a physical exam of the eye. During this exam your pupils may be dilated so the doctor can measure the pressure in your eyes and perform several tests on the function and parts of each eye.

If you’re being dilated, plan to bring a pair of sunglasses and have someone else drive you home from the appointment. By the end of an exam, you will know whether your vision is normal and if your eyes are healthy. If there is a need for corrective lenses, your doctor will write a prescription. If there are any other abnormal findings, your doctor will tell you the appropriate next steps.

Each visit either catches a problem early or builds a history for when problems arise, so it’s more than worth it to schedule one each year! Many vision plans offer one annual eye exam at no cost to their members, but it’s always best to review the benefits covered by your plan before scheduling an appointment.

Information on this site is provided for informational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication. If you have, or suspect that you have, a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider.

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