Most eye professionals suggest that you have a routine eye examination at least once a year. Over the course of 12 months, you are likely to incur visual changes that could result in a new prescription. Additionally, a routine eye examination can help detect diseases that could affect your eyesight and overall health.
Here are a few conditions that may be detected when an eye doctor examines your eyes:
Glaucoma is an eye disease that often affects the elderly. The condition, which causes a build up of pressure within the eye, can eventually lead to loss of vision. Still, glaucoma is treatable.
By detecting the condition in its early stages, an eye doctor can prescribe medication to help minimize damage to your eye. In addition, he or she can record a baseline of your eye pressure to monitor the condition's progression during future eye appointments.
To test for glaucoma, the eye doctor may dilate your pupil for a clear view of your optic nerve. High levels of intraocular pressure can damage the optic nerve.
The doctor may also test your eye pressure and peripheral vision. Glaucoma can sometimes narrow your field of vision. Your corneal thickness may also be measured.
Cancer of the eye may also be found during an exam. Early detection of eye cancer is particularly important because of the eye's close proximity to the brain. Cancer cells sometimes migrate to other tissues. If cancer invades the brain, its treatment or removal may be more difficult.
As the eye doctor looks for signs of cancer, he or she will review the shape of the eye and its structures. Irregularities in shape or the presence of a growth could indicate cancer.
Although your blood sugar is not assessed during an eye exam, signs of diabetes may still be discovered. The blood vessels of the eye are sometimes affected by diabetes. As a result, the capillaries of the retina may start to leak fluid.
If leakage is noted, the eye doctor may suggest that you see a general practitioner to have your blood sugar levels checked.
Indications of hypertension may also be discovered during an eye exam. Hypertension, like diabetes, can affect the eye's blood vessels. The vessels of the eye of a person with high blood pressure may bend or develop structural abnormalities, such as kinks.
To schedule an eye examination, contact the office of an ophthalmologist, like one from Discover Vision Centers, in your local area.