The amount of people I talk to who say, “I don’t need my eyes checked, I see perfectly!” is insane. Many people don’t see the point in “wasting” $100+ dollars on getting an eye exam if their vision is good. Did you know that 70% of kids who need glasses don’t get glasses because they don’t know they need them? They don’t know how well they’re supposed to see, much like you. You could be needing glasses right now, and have no idea, because you don’t know how well you’re supposed to see. Below are 5 reasons why you should really get your eyes checked at least biannually. Don’t be oblivious to your own sight!
You may not realize it, but when your Optometrist checks your eyes they aren’t just checking your vision. Your eyes can say a lot about your overall health. Eyes have blood vessels that run through your eye, if they’re narrowed, these vessels can indicate that you have high blood pressure. These vessels can also indicate early signs of diabetes, high cholesterol, and even cancer. Who knew your eyes could tell you so much!
Unfortunately.. the older you get, the older your eyes get as well. You may have great vision growing up, and into your 20’s-30’s but that will all change eventually. The muscles in your eyes will eventually degrade and this will cause nearsightedness. That’s why you often see seniors looking for their reading glasses when they are trying to see something up close. There is no cure for this other than glasses, or multifocal contact lenses. People also aren’t aware of their vision decreasing over time if it happens gradually. Think of it as the old adage of the frog in a pot. If you put a frog in boiling water, they will jump out, but you put a frog in cold water and slowly turn the heat up and they cook, just like if your vision slowly gets worse over time, you don’t pick up on it very fast.
There are SOOO many different eye diseases, but I am going to talk about the big one today, Glaucoma. Glaucoma is a good enough reason on its own to get an eye exam routinely, this disease is almost symptomless. Which is great if you have it, but not if you aren’t aware! When Glaucoma goes untreated, your vision loss can develop quite quickly, and it is irreversible. After such damage has been done, it is often difficult to try and keep it under control. There are options such as medications and surgery (if applicable) but why not just go regularly to your optometrist, and be aware of the disease before it develops! Optometrists have equipment that can detect the early signs of Glaucoma and manage it before any damage is done.
Increased Screen Time
It is obvious that our generation is in front of a screen ALL THE TIME! (Including me, do you have any idea how long it takes me to write these!). We all have smart phones, iPads, laptops, TVs, and handheld video games that all give off blue light, which causes your eyes to become more strained. With the increased screen times, there is more dry eye, and an increased number of nearsighted patients. This isn’t just true for adults, but for teens and even children as well. The screens prevent us from routinely blinking, and this causes the dry eye and the clogging of your oil glands. People are also experiencing problems focusing their eyes, or going from different viewing distances. Always remember the 20-20-20 rule; For every 20 minutes of screen time, look 20 feet, for 20 seconds. This will give your eyes a break and allow them to relax a bit. It is also recommended to limit screen time for children to 2 hours a day.
Sunglasses… oh sunglasses, Why don’t people wear you for protection other then fashion! The sun has very dangerous UV rays, which is why most people wear sunscreen in the summer, but your eyes need protection too!
Think of sunglasses like sunblock for your eyes! Increased sun exposure to your eyes can lead to the development of macular degeneration or cataracts. Now you might hear or know that almost every old person has been getting cataract surgery, but that is because sunglasses weren’t used regularly way back when. Sunglasses should be worn whenever you are outside, just ensure they are UV a/b protected!
If these reasons alone aren’t a good enough reason to see your optometrist regularly, then you should just take my word for it. You are only born with one set of eyes, you should take care of them and your body. Your eyes are a window into your health, so make sure you keep your window clean!
Moral of the story: Eyes are crazy.. get them checked!