It is important to get an annual comprehensive eye exam to detect any eye problems when they are most treatable, in the earliest stages. During this comprehensive exam, the optometrist is not only going to work to see if one's prescription lenses are correct but will also check for any common eye diseases. We will assess how well both eyes work together. We will also use the eyes as an indicator to evaluate one's overall health. These are just some of the reasons why it is necessary to have regular eye exams.
Who should get an eye exam?
The answer to the question, everybody. Examinations are an important part of the health maintenance for every human being. Adults, need to receive the proper eye exam in order to make sure that their eyeglasses, or contacts, prescriptions are current. At the same time, adults getting eye exams also have the optometrist to check for early signs of eye diseases. In a similar fashion, children also need eye exams on a regular basis.
Vision is very closely linked to the learning process because many children use visual cues to learn. Children who have an eye problem or have trouble interpreting what they see will also have trouble with their school work. Oftentimes, children do not know how to bring up vision problems since they do not have an understanding of normal vision.
Children who are doing poorly in school, exhibit learning/reading problems or simply have trouble following along, may need a visual aid of some kind. An eye exam is the best place to start in order to get to the underlining visual cause. Often, children who have the struggles, and get glasses, find the problems go away.
Isn't a vision screening sufficient?
A common mistake that people make is confusing vision screening with a comprehensive eye exam. Typically, vision screenings are a general eye test that is used to help identify people who may have or may be at risk for, vision problems. The screenings include brief vision test and are often performed by pediatricians, school nurses or volunteers. A classic example of a vision test is the test that people take when they go to the DMV to get their driver's license renewed. This is not a comprehensive exam.
An eye exam is a comprehensive examination that can only be performed by an optometrist, or an eye doctor. This will involve carefully testing every aspect of the patient's visit. Once the optician has conducted the exam, they can make recommendations for how to improve the eyesight or draw up a treatment plan based on the individual needs of the patient being examined.
It is important to remember that family physicians and pediatricians are not trained to do comprehensive eye exams. Therefore, it is critically important to come in and see an eye doctor instead. Often, opticians will recommend treatment plants that can include eyeglasses or contact lenses, eye exercises to strengthen the muscles, or even surgery to correct some issues, based on the needs of the eyes.
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