The importance of regular eye tests cannot be understated. Even if you don’t wear contact lenses or glasses, an eye test can catch a whole range of conditions early before there is significant damage to your vision.
For those who do wear glasses or contacts, an eye test makes sure the prescription is up to date. It is particularly important for parents to take their kids regularly for eye tests as eyesight problems can significantly impact academic achievement, sports achievement and self-esteem.
Some of the conditions which an eye test checks for are:
• Refractive error: commonly referred to as near-sightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, essentially having bad eyesight. They can be corrected with eyeglasses, contacts or surgery.
• Amblyopia: when the eyes are turned or when one eye has a different strength than another. This is a common condition amongst children which if not treated, can result in permanent damage.
• Strabismus: commonly referred to as cross-eyes. Eye tests check for eye alignment and so can easily spot abnormalities here. Left untreated, Strabismus can cause depth perception problems and lead to amblyopia.
• Eye teaming problems: also an alignment disorder, which is also known as binocular vision. It can cause eyestrain, headaches, affect reading and other near vision tasks.
• Focusing problems: These can range simply incompletely developed focusing skill in a child to normal decline of focus ability in aging adults (presbyopia).
• Eye diseases: diseases such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy don’t have symptoms in their early stages.
Interestingly enough, an eye test not only ensures your eyes are healthy and disease free, it can also guard against a number of other conditions, which is why it is so important to go for regular check ups.
Eye doctors are usually the first health care professionals to detect chronic systemic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. That is because they have a clear view of the eye’s blood vessels where they can see symptoms of these health issues. A study in 2011 indicated that thanks to eye exams, millions of dollars had been saved annually by early health intervention for persons with conditions such as cholesterol, hypertension, and diabetes.
An eye doctor will check your eyes inside and out during an eye test to make sure there are no early symptoms of any of these conditions. In many cases, detecting the signs early can result in quick treatment and significantly reduce the risk of permanent damage or the deterioration and loss of eyesight.