The eye is rightfully considered the most sensitive body part yet it also happens to be the most neglected. With hectic modern lifestyles, eye care is largely ignored and an eye exam is only carried out when your ophthalmologist insists.
Worrying Eye Condition Statistics
To appreciate the need for regular eye checks, consider these worrying statistics. The National Eye Institute (NEI) in 2013 reported that there are over 4 million Americans suffering from vision impairment and 2 million who suffer low vision.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports 14 million people aged 12 years and older have suffered vision impairment. A National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) study shows over 3.5 million Americans aged 40 years and above have some form of vision problem arising from childhood.
Preventive Eye Care to Avoid Deterioration
It might be clich, but prevention is better than cure, any day, in eye care. Indeed, most sight-threatening conditions can be treated if detected early according to American Foundation for the Blind.
This makes eye exams an integral part of your family’s overall good health. You can choose an optometrist when it is purely a preventative eye visit. In case you have an identified eye condition then you need specialized eye examination by an ophthalmologist.
When to Visit an Eye Doctor
The question in your mind must be the appropriate time to make an appointment with your eye doctor. Here are some factors that will highlight you need that exam sooner than later:
Recommended visits: The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that your child must have an eye exam before the age of 3 years. National Eye Institute (NEI) recommends a test once in every 10 years for ages between 19 and 40 years, a test every 5 years for ages 41-55 years, a test every 3 years for ages 56-65 years and a test every year for anyone aged over 65 years. With age, eye problems worsen meaning more regular exams are needed.
You need eye examination in case of vision loss, changes in vision, changes in the field of vision or changes in color of vision.
An eye exam is crucial in case of reddening of eyes, itching, floaters, blind spots, eye strain, headaches, blurred vision and difficulty seeing at night, or any other discomfort in your eyes.
Eye exams are critical in case of head injuries, if you have health conditions that affect your eyes such as diabetes, Glaucoma and if there is a history of family eye problems.