Why Eye Exams Are Important At Any Age

August 22, 2012 0 Comments

By Carl Harrison

Most of the people are not aware of the fact that many diseases of eyes are asymptomatic and cannot be diagnosed until eye exams are performed on regular basis. Eye exams should be done periodically as a part of primary health care to avoid and treat eye diseases as well as other systemic diseases.

Ophthalmologist and optometrist perform different types of eye tests to assess vision and focus ability. Annual eye exams are important at every age as they not only help in determining and correcting vision or giving prescription for contact lenses but also help in revealing many undiagnosed systemic diseases such as tumours, brain diseases, heart diseases, diabetes and hypertension. The eye exams hold equal importance for kids as various eye examinations help in testing their vision and ensure that the vision development is normal which in turn helps kids academic achievement.

There are series of basic eye examination which help in determining various problems. These include external examination, visual equity, pupil function, ocular motility, visual field testing, measuring of intraocular pressure and ophthalmoscopy by dilating pupil. External eye examination includes check up of eyelids, surrounding tissues, conjunctiva, sclera, cornea and iris.

For checking that your visual acuity is best Snellen chart used. The normal visual acuity is 20/20 or 6/6. If you are having regular headache and general fatigue then the reason can be poor visual acuity. If you are wearing glasses or contact lenses with over or under power then also headache can be the result. Sometimes people who sit before computer daily for more than 4-5 hours can develop computer vision syndrome with symptoms such as pain and burning in eyes, double vision, frequent headache and also neck pain. For such people anti-glare glasses are made after eye examination. Pupil function test helps in determining the size of pupil, reaction to light and also regular shape. If there is any neurological damage then swinging-flashlight test is done.

Eye exams also help in diagnosing serious eye diseases such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, cataract and diabetic retinopathy. These diseases are slow growing and the loss of vision takes place gradually. Early detection can help in treating the disease and thus maintaining your vision. Presbyopia, diplopia, amblyopia and strabismus can cause permanent impairment of vision but if detected earlier they can be treated to certain extent.

If you are already using spectacles or contact lenses then also periodic eye exams helps in the diagnosis of conditions like dry eye, ocular allergies and contact lens irritation and complications.

The eye exam of children can be done at an age of 6 months but if you think that there is any problem with your childs vision then you can consult the ophthalmologist earlier also. If the child is having poor vision then his daily activities can be affected and the performance in school can also decline. Early eye exams can test visual skills such as near vision, far vision, eye teaming, and movement of the eye, eye accommodation, peripheral vision, astigmatism and also eye-hand coordination.

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