Why Do I Need an Annual Eye Exam? My Vision Hasn’t Changed.

When it comes up in conversation that I work in the Eye Health field, I am often asked, “Do I really need an annual eye exam?  My glasses still work fine, and who has the time for that?”  At InVision Eye Health, we understand how busy you are.  A well checkup for your eyes may not make it to the top of your list if you don’t understand what it is that makes it so vital.  So, let me explain a little of what we are looking for while we are looking into your eyes (Spoiler– It isn’t your soul!).

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Checking your vision is a major portion of your eye exam– it is the flashy part with the cool machinery  and the tricky questions (Which looks more clear, 1 or 2? 3 or 4?  How about now?).  But it isn’t the only thing we do and, honestly, it isn’t the most important.

We will check the tiny muscles that control eye movement, and the even tinier muscles that control the focusing power of your eye’s internal lens.

We look at your vascular system. An Eye Doctor dilates your eyes to see your veins intact.  This is the only exam where your healthcare professional can check for cholesterol problems without sticking you with a needle. Odd bends, tears, or kinks in your veins can indicate High Blood Pressure. Diabetic Patients should see their Optometrist regularly to keep watch for Diabetic Retinopathy, or your eye doctor may see signs of retinopathy and encourage you to see your primary care physician for treatment of diabetes.

We look at your nerves.  The optic disc in the back of your retina is where your optic nerve connects your eyes to your brain.  If that connection is discolored, that can indicate a brain tumor.  If your pupils don’t expand and retract normally in response to light, that can also indicate nerve damage.

Excessive redness or irritation can indicate an auto-immune disorder, like Lupus.  Bulging or protruding eyes are a sign of Thyroid disease.

And honestly, your vision probably has changed.  Perhaps not dramatically, small changes over time are hard to notice, but you will appreciate the difference a fresh Rx makes.  Keeping up with incremental steps in your changing eyesight will be easier for you than adjusting to a dramatic change in your glasses Rx.

As your Eye Health team, we absolutely want you to see clearly– for a long, healthy lifetime.  We have looked into the eyes of our patients and seen the first evidence of leukemia and brain tumors.  So come see us regularly, it could save your life!  And it’s not like a it’s trip to the dentist…

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