Good vision is critical for just about anything we do. And when our eyes are “working” the way we need them — providing us with clear, crisp vision, day in and day out — we don’t give them a lot of thought. Even if we wear contact lenses or glasses, as long as we’re able to see clearly, it’s easy to think we can skip the annual eye exam without any negative consequences.
The problem is, our eyes can develop problems just like any other organ, and that means they need to be evaluated every year to make sure they stay healthy. At Eye See Ravenswood, we offer comprehensive eye exams using state-of-the-art technology to help every patient enjoy clearer vision and better eye health. Here’s why it’s so important not to skip your annual eye exam.
The importance of annual eye exams
A comprehensive eye exam doesn't just check your vision. At Eye See Ravenswood, Dr. Andrea J. Stein uses special tests and technology to examine all the parts of your eye, from the clear lens at the front of your eye to the retina and optic nerve head in the back. Special tests will evaluate your peripheral vision, your ability to track and focus on objects, how well your eyes work together, and lots of other important factors that can help identify problems in their early stages. Eye exams aren't invasive, and they don't hurt. Most take under an hour to complete. Here are the two most important reasons why you shouldn't skip yours.
Diagnosing — and preventing — disease
Disease prevention is one of the most important reasons to have a yearly eye exam. Many diseases, like glaucoma and macular degeneration, cause very few noticeable symptoms. With these conditions, often, partial blindness will be the first indication you’ll have that something is wrong with your eyes. In fact, glaucoma is often referred to as "the silent thief of sight." But even though you might not have developed any physical symptoms yet, your Dr. Stein can still detect subtle changes in your eyes’ structure or function during a comprehensive eye exam. And that means you can get early care that’s essential for preventing permanent or severe vision loss.
Many eye diseases cause tiny changes in the eye’s structure. For instance, macular degeneration causes changes in and around your retina, the very back part of your eye. Glaucoma causes changes in the pressure inside your eye, and during your exam, Dr. Stein will use a special device to measure that pressure (without harming your eye or causing any pain).
Correcting vision problems
Annual exams are also important to make sure your vision is as crisp and clear as possible, especially as you get older. Even though you may have had stable vision for years, your vision can still change, especially once you reach your 40s and 50s. Many people with 20-20 vision throughout their 20s and 30s find close activities like reading become more difficult as they age. And if you already wear glasses, your prescription can change dramatically. Having a routine eye exam ensures you’ll still see clearly as your eyes change over time. Having an annual exam ensures you understand what options are available to help you maintain good vision as you get older.
Dr. Stein can also diagnose other issues, like computer eye strain or dry eye syndrome. Like other types of eye strain, computer eye strain can cause pretty serious headaches, and without treatment, those headaches aren't going to go away. Dry eye syndrome makes your eyes more prone to infection, and it also causes problems like itching, burning, and blurriness.
And finally, your annual exam is a great time to ask questions and find out about things you can do to improve your eye health, like taking supplements or wearing protective eyewear during certain types of activities. At Eye See Ravenswood, we offer lots of eyewear options to help you make the right choices for your needs and your lifestyle.
Make an appointment today
Of course, it’s important to make an appointment at Eye See Ravenswood whenever you have an issue like eye pain, itching, watering, or redness in or around your eye. And it’s also important to visit us when you have a change in the way you’re seeing. But annual exams are also important because they look for subtle signs of underlying problems you might not even know are there. And that means you can go on enjoying the best vision possible for years to come. If it’s been a while since your last comprehensive eye exam, book an appointment online today. Then put an annual reminder on your calendar app to make sure you come in every year.