August is National Eye Exam Month and a great time to visit your eye care professional to get your eyes checked. August is also National Eye Exam for Kids Month so be sure to get your kids’ eyes examined as they get ready to go back to school.
Eye exams can be critical for a number of reasons and can protect your vision and overall eye health. A vision screening that tests your need for glasses is important, but it is no substitute for a thorough eye exam that only an ophthalmologist and optometrist is qualified to give.
Eye Exams Detect and Prevent Disease and Vision Loss
There are a number of low vision and blindness ailments that can be detected early and even prevented by having an annual eye exam.
In early stages, eye diseases such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy have no symptoms, but with a thorough eye exam, a qualified eye care professional can detect and treat these diseases reducing your risk of permanent vision loss.
Optometrists and ophthalmologists often are the first to detect health problems such as high cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure. Eye doctors beat traditional physicians in finding these health problems because these eye care professionals look directly into the eye at the blood vessels and retina.
A recent study for VSP Vision Care found that eye doctors are the first to find high cholesterol 62% of the time, hypertension/high blood pressure 39% of the time and diabetes 34% of the time.
Following recommendations for having eye exams can prevent disease and vision loss.
Eye Exams Important For Every Age
According to The Vision Council of America, 12.2 million people in the US need at least some vision correction but do not use any. Further, almost 50% of parents with kids under 12 have never brought them to an eye care professional.
Eye Exams for Babies and Toddlers
The AOA also recommends that toddlers get their eyes checked once again between the ages of 3 and 5 years.
Eye Exams for Children 6-18 Years Old
The American Optometric Association (AOA) further recommends that children between the ages of 6 and 18 get their eyes examined annually to detect any correctable eye problems.
Vision problems have been tightly linked to learning problems in kids in numerous studies. Eye exams should be part of any kid’s back to school routine.
Eye Exams for Adults
If you are between the ages of 40 and 65 it is recommended to get your eyes checked every 2 – 4 years.
Eye Exams for Seniors
If you are over 65 it is recommended to get your eyes examined every 1-2 years. EyeCare America helps seniors qualify for free eye exams. August is also Cataracts Awareness Month an important time for seniors to be tested for cataracts that can cloud eye lenses and lead to vision loss.
As you check off your lists and get the kids ready to go back to school, remember to get their eyes examined and since it is National Eye Exam Month while you are there, no matter what your age get your eyes checked too.
If you do find eye problems during your eye exam, remember that New England Low Vision and Blindness has a full suite of low vision products and training services to help you adjust and live a fully-independent, high-quality life.
*Image taken from arztsamui on FreeDigitalPhotos.net