Did you know?
• One in four children have eye problems
• School performance is directly linked to vision problems. In fact, eye problems in children are a common reason for students not doing well in school. Yet, the problem often goes undetected.
Who requires a routine eye exam?
In addition to children requiring eye exams on an annual basis, the following guidelines are suggested:
• Adults over 50 or with diabetes should have a comprehensive eye exam annually
• Adults with no eye symptoms or risk factors, such as past eye problems or a family history of eye disease, should have an eye exam every 2-4 years
Why is a comprehensive eye exam important?
• Problems with overall health can be detected Conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol can often be found simply by looking at the eyes.
• May prevent eye conditions and save vision Diseases such as glaucoma which, left untreated, may lead to blindness, are important to diagnose early. In addition, early signs of macular degeneration and cataracts may be found.
• Poor vision may explain frequent headaches Correcting vision can help alleviate headaches, eyestrain and squinting.
• Determine proper prescription As eyes change, glasses or contacts are often needed. Or, when corrective devices are already used, they may need to be adjusted. Over 12 million Americans require some type of vision correction but don’t use any.
What to expect during a routine eye exam:
• Review health history with doctor
• Have vision checked
• Any eye symptoms, pain or distress will be noted; findings will be reviewed
• Eyes will be examined, inside and out, using a variety of eye tests
• Ways to ensure good eye health, proper eye care and eye precautions will be discussed
What type of eye tests will be performed?
Your eye doctor will determine the tests appropriate for you. Below is a sampling of what you might expect:
• Visual Tests: Using a series of charts, near and far sight as well as peripheral (side) vision will be checked.
• Dilation: Special drops cause the pupil of the eye to expand. This allows the doctor to view certain parts of the eye otherwise difficult to see.
• Refraction: The doctor will try a number of different lenses place directly in front of your eyes to determine your prescription for glasses or contacts, if needed.
• Slit-Lamp Test: By shining a small beam of light in the eye, the doctor can detect conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration.
A comprehensive eye exam is a painless, important way to ensure healthy eyes for you and your family. For a listing of free eye exam sites for children, visit www.sightforstudents.org or www.infantSEe.org . In addition, individuals over the age of 65 or those with a family history of eye disease may be eligible to receive a free eye exam through www.eyecareAmerica.com.