Annual Eye Exams: Why Are They So Important?

"Why do I need an annual eye exam? My vision is fine."

At Acuity Eye Specialists, we hear this fairly often. Since our vision seems to change little from one year to another, annual eye checks may seem like overkill. However, it's important to remember eye exams are not just vision checks; it's also a check on early signs of eye disease before symptoms manifest, as well as surveying how well your eyes work together.

They say the eyes are the "window to the soul" but in medicine, there actually is a lot they can tell us. Eye exams can help doctors detect the early stage of chronic illnesses. By evaluating the condition of bloodvessels in the eye, they can determine how blood vessels throughout the body are possibly being affected by conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and elevated cholesterol levels.

While the importance of eye exams is not in question, the frequency needed may be a little more complicated and varies depending on one's age and health conditions. For most adults, an exam every one to two years is recommended. For children, pediatric eye exams are often overlooked but extremely important, as issues with vision can be detrimental to their education and learning and should be done at the beginning of the school year. For seniors and anyone at risk of certain chronic conditions, annually or as recommended by your eye doctor is usually sufficient.

As 2017 rolls in, remember to schedule your eye exam with your health care provider. They may see things you can't, pun intended.