A study was conducted in 2018 to determine which sense organ people valued the most. An overwhelming majority of voters (84%) focused on the eyes. This exemplifies the value we place on our vision. The eyes are an important sense organ that contributes to our overall health. Maintaining good health requires various measures, including routine eye exams and care for our eyes. Let's take a step back and consider the what and the why of regular eye exams.
Keeping an eye on vision changes
Your eyes undergo several changes as you get older, some of which can affect your vision. Your eye doctor will be able to monitor any changes in your vision thanks to regular examinations, which will ensure that you receive the appropriate treatment to preserve your goodvision.
Earlier Detection of Eye Diseases
It is important to have regular eye check-ups to screen for conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration in order to identify them at an early stage and safeguard your vision. You can expect your eye doctor to perform a series of tests to detect these and other eye diseases during your annual exam. It's easier to treat and manage these conditions if they're caught earlyon.
Annual eye exams can detect other serious health problems
Did you know many people discover diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or cancer during a routine eye exam? "The window to our soul"—our eyes. They also reveal our health. During a comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor can assess the health of your retinal blood vessels, which are a good indicator of blood vessel health throughout your body. Diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia cause retinal blood supply and blood vessel changes. Diabetics and those at risk should have annual eye exams (due to obesity, family history or other reasons).
Glaucoma: Early detection is important
Glaucoma is the silent killer of the eyes. Early signs of glaucoma are rare, and the disease is often incorrectly diagnosed until it advances to total blindness. By that time, managing glaucoma and preventing permanent vision loss becomes difficult. If left untreated, glaucoma can lead to blindness in its most severe form.High eye pressure and other risk factors for glaucoma can only be detected through regular eye examinations.
It is essential to have regular eye exams to ensure optimal eye health and general well-being. Its a window into your overall health, allowing for the early detection of diabetes, high blood pressure, and even cancer and detecting and preventing eye diseases. Considering how valuable good eyesight is, it's crucial to take care of our eyes and schedule annual check-ups. Do not put off seeing an eye doctor until it is too late; instead, act now to preserve your sight.
Dr B Shantha, Senior Consultant, Department of Glaucoma at Sankara Nethralaya