The Importance of Eye Exams

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  • Category: Eyecare
Eye Exam Hendersonville, TN

Most people get a doctor or dental exam once or twice a year. However, these same patients may skip annual eye exams. They assume if they are seeing well, they don’t need eye exams or that eye exams only benefit certain populations, like senior citizens. The truth is that eye exams are critical for overall health and benefit every patient population.


What an Eye Exam Entails

During a comprehensive eye exam, you and your eye doctor will work as a team to determine what your eyes say about your health. If you’re experiencing floaters, blurred or double vision, eye strain, or dry eyes, an eye exam is the perfect time to tell your doctor. The more your eye doctor knows, the more effective your treatment will be.

An annual eye exam lets your doctor check for potentially serious diseases such as glaucoma or macular degeneration. It’s also a good time to update your eye doctor if you live with a condition like diabetes. Diabetes often leads to retinopathy, retinal and corneal damage, and blindness. Annual exams can prevent such diseases from developing or keep them from progressing.


Who Should Have an Eye Exam?

As noted, everyone should get annual eye exams, but certain populations should have them more often. Children, for instance, are vulnerable to common eye problems, because they don’t know what “normal” vision looks like. They may become so used to compensating for poor vision that they don’t recognize it’s a problem. Squinting, headaches, and poor school performance may indicate it’s time for a comprehensive exam.

The elderly should get frequent exams, too. They are vulnerable to age-related eye diseases, and like children, they may not recognize when their vision is becoming worse. Elderly patients who wear glasses or contacts should have regular prescription checks, because prescription needs change so gradually.


Could I Have a Vision Problem?

Many people wait until they develop the symptoms of an eye disease to get an examination. Although you might not have symptoms, an eye exam protects you from much more than that. During an exam, your eye doctor will check for refractive errors like nearsightedness and farsightedness. These may need surgery, but can often be corrected with glasses or contacts.


Your eye doctor will also check for focus problems, blurred vision, double vision, and similar issues. Sometimes these lead to more serious eye issues or are a sign of eye misalignment. If your eyes are misaligned, your eye doctor may recommend eye drops, eye patches, or surgery.