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Do I Really Need An Annual Eye Exam?

Did you know that March is “Save Your Vision” month? The American Optometric Association (AOA) designates this annual public health observance as a way to remind people of the importance of regular eye exams. This made us think of a question that we sometimes hear from patients: “Do I really need eye exams every year?” The answer is yes, and here’s why.

Prescription Changes

If you wear glasses or contact lenses, your prescriptions can change over time. As such, they should be checked every year to ensure they’re still suited to your eyes. But, even if your prescription hasn’t changed, it’s still important to have the fit of your contact lenses evaluated on an annual basis. Are you a glasses wearer instead? Yearly exams are still best, as lenses can get scratched or damaged with frequent use and should be replaced when this occurs to spare you from eye strain and other issues.

Health Monitoring

Some people think that once they’ve had LASIK or another type of vision correction surgery, and are no longer reliant on contacts or glasses, that they can skip their annual vision exam - or spread it out a bit more to save money. But, this isn’t wise. After all, eye exams are not only intended to help with vision correction. They’re also a key part of comprehensive, preventive care of your health.

First, eye exams cue doctors in to potential eye-related problems like macular degeneration and issues with the retinas. Second, they can also indicate health concerns in the rest of the body. For example, a dilated eye exam, used by many offices (including Horizon) can detect hypertension and diabetic retinopathy. Exams in general have been known to reveal high cholesterol or even brain tumors, as well. Since the eye provides an unmatched view into the body’s blood vessels, there’s a lot that can be learned from the shape they are in. With any of these health problems, the sooner you know about them, the more you can do about it.

Need to schedule your yearly eye exam and looking for an “eye doctor near me?” Contact us today!