Eye exams test more than you can see – a comprehensive eye exam performed by a doctor of optometry can reveal telling changes about your health
As we age, our health can be both a reward and a challenge.
Whether you’re active or idle, starting your first job or thinking about retirement, there are steps you can take to maintain your best possible eye health as you get older.
Infants and toddlers
Even as an infant, regular visits to a Doctor of Optometry is important. Infants love to look at lights which makes the eye exam easy. Doctors of optometry recommend children have their first eye exam at six months of age and then annually until they’re adults.
During your child’s first eye exam, a doctor of optometry assesses your child’s visual abilities, ensuring the eyes are properly aligned, free of congenital cataracts and developing normally. They also look to detect and treat eye conditions, such as strabismus (crossed eyes) and amblyopia (lazy eyes), before irreversible damage is done.
Outside of routine eye exams, children at this age often see their doctor of optometry for eye infections. Itchy, painful or swollen eyes are all common signs of an infection. If caught early, the spread of infection can be limited, avoiding more serious complications. Some of the most common infections are caused from blocked tear ducts or conjunctivitis, better known as pink eye.
School aged children
Eye health takes on added importance when your child enters the classroom. A school-age child’s eyes are constantly in use and if visual skills are lacking or impaired, your child will need to work harder to concentrate and learn.
At this age, doctors of optometry look for eye conditions such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism. As a parent, it’s difficult to know how well your child can see and many of these conditions go undetected without an eye exam. In many cases, a child can have a dominant eye, which can easily mask a vision problem.
Common signs and symptoms of a vision problem include:
For adults, an annual eye exam is an important part of maintaining your overall health and a necessary step in slowing the progression of aging eyes.
During your exam, your doctor of optometry will look for the onset of age related conditions. Diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, retinal detachment, cataracts and age-related macular degeneration are all conditions that can be better treated with early detection. Even the common nuisance of dry, itchy eyes can be effectively managed with simple, routine visits to your doctor of optometry.
Other health conditions may warrant more frequent examination such as adults who have diabetes or glaucoma.
As our eyes age, questions and issues emerge that need answers and solutions. It’s important to remember that eye exams are not just about getting new glasses, but about caring for and protecting the most valuable sense we have – sight.
UV LIGHT CAN CAUSE SERIOUS EYE DAMAGE LIKE CATARACTS
What can you do?
• Avoid sources for UV radiation. Don’t stare directly at the sun. Be aware of reflections from snow, water, sand and pavement.
• Protect your peepers! Wear sunglasses that are 100% UV blocking against both UVA and UVB rays.
• Stay informed. Check out the UV Canada smartphone app for up-to-date info on UV radiation in your location. Have regular eye exams to monitor eye health.
• Keep out of direct sunlight between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest.
• Children are at high risk. Keep children younger than six months out of direct sunlight, ensure children of all ages wear sunglasses and sun hats when outside and consider using a canopy or umbrella as a sun-shield when at the beach or in the back yard.
• Recognize the symptoms. If you’re experiencing immediate pain, an inflamed cornea, or an aversion to light, see your doctor of optometry right away.
Your doctor of optometry can make specific recommendations to ensure your eyes are well-protected and to fit you with your perfect pair of sunglasses. Booking a comprehensive eye exam can identify early onset of eye-health conditions related to UV that may not have apparent symptoms. Book an eye exam with Cole Harbour Optometry by phone or online anytime. We love to love your eyes! http://bit.ly/2wFYFpH