Having good vision is more than seeing clearly. Aside from having errors or refraction such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, there are other diseases like glaucoma, cataracts or retinal diseases that may affect your vision. This is why undergoing regular comprehensive eye exams should be a part of your commitment to your overall health.
A comprehensive eye exam involves a series of tests designed to evaluate the overall condition of your eyes. Your eye doctor does not only determine changes in the eye grade or prescription but also evaluates the back part of the eye (lenses and retina) to check for early signs of eye diseases.
According to Asian Eye Institute Refractive/LASIK surgeon and comprehensive ophthalmologist Dr. Emerson Cruz, “The only way to know if your eyes are truly healthy is by doing a thorough eye exam. We can detect eye diseases at an early stage – when they are most treatable. Most of these diseases don’t have signs or symptoms at the onset, so it’s important that we treat them early to prevent vision loss.”
Children need to undergo routine eye exams to reveal eye problems that may interfere with their learning and development. Their eyes should be checked at 6 months old, at age 3, and before they start going to school. Children without eye problems should get a checkup at least every two years. However, those with existing eye problems or those who were born prematurely, have developmental delays, or are cross-eyed should be checked more often by their pediatric eye doctor.
Adults, on the other hand, should undergo a comprehensive eye exam yearly. Dr. Cruz says, “You don’t need to wait until you’re 40 or for signs or symptoms to arise before you visit your eye doctor. Your risk of developing eye diseases also increases as you age. More so if you have a family history of any eye disease, wear eyeglasses or contacts, take medications that can affect eyesight (like steroids) or smoke.”
“Those with chronic diseases like hypertension and diabetes are strongly recommended to have their eyes checked more frequently, since these could affect their vision and eye health,” he adds.