Eyesight is one of the most important and appreciated senses we have. Despite your age or your physical health good vision offers a better quality of life. Just as our bodies need evolving care, so do our eyes. Many eye and vision problems have no clear signs or symptoms and can be noted during an eye exam.
Who Should Get Their Eyes Examined?
Adults should have their eyes tested to make sure their prescriptions are current and to check for early signs of eye disease. Children’s eye exams play an important role in ensuring normal vision development and academic achievement.
What happens during an eye examination?
Your Optometrist will find out your prescription for spectacles or contact lenses, evaluate how your eyes work together as a team, also check your eyes for diseases and any other problems that could lead to vision loss. Only an optometrist or ophthalmologist can give a comprehensive eye exam — family physicians and pediatricians are not fully trained to do this, it is possible that they may miss important vision problems that need treatment.
When should I go for an eye exam?
- Babies: should have eyes screened at regular pediatric appointments.
- Children and Teenagers: Children should be tested at the age of 4 years old, after that once every two years.
- Adults and seniors: A baseline eye examination should be done at 40yr. Your optometrist will assess how often you need to return for follow-up. Age-related eye conditions are more likely to occur as one gets older.
- For anyone with risk factors: If you have diabetes, high blood pressure, a family history of eye disease like glaucoma, or are taking prescription medications which affect the eyes, you should see your ophthalmologist more frequently as you are at a higher risk for eye disease. Ask your optometrist for the ideal interval between check-ups.
Treatment Plans after Your Eye Exam
Treatment is recommended on an individual basis and may range from advice that you have your eyes examined again within a specific time frame, a prescription for glasses or contact lenses to correct refractive errors, vision therapy, to eye drops for eye disease or discomfort. There are also certain vitamins and supplements that help to maintain good eye health and help alleviate specific problems like dry eyes.
Regular eye exams are important for seeing more clearly, learning more easily and preserving your vision for life. An uncorrected visual impairment can affect an individual’s quality of life. Don’t let this happen to you or your family members. Schedule an appointment with your Optometrist and let your eyes talk for you.
Carmen Marshall is an Optometrist who is committed to ongoing professional education, implementing the latest technology, and providing the most current and effective care to her patients. She earned a B.Optom at the then RAU (now UJ) and also holds a diploma in Schools Vision and has attended certified courses on Diabetic Optometry and various Contact Lens Courses. She has international experience and works to a very high standard. She is the owner of a private optometry practice in Harare.