National Eye Exam Month was founded by Sears Optical in 1989. They established it to spread awareness about the importance of eye safety and healthy vision.
Dedicating a specific month to encouraging eye health helps remind adults to get annual eye exams. It also urges parents to schedule them for their children before school starts.
A misconception people often have about eye exams is that they’re the same as vision screenings. This is not the case. Vision screenings aren’t as thorough as comprehensive exams and fail to look inside the eyes, which is important to reach certain diagnoses.
Below are a few reasons they are important.
If a child has poor vision that isn’t fixed with corrective eyeglasses, 90% of their learning is inhibited. Scheduling a comprehensive eye exam for them before the start of each school year can ensure they’re set up to reach their full academic potential.
Blurry eyesight is a good indicator of an eye condition. However, many serious vision problems don’t show symptoms until vision loss begins.
Glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy are three examples of eye conditions that often show no symptoms in the beginning. It isn’t until a person begins to notice vision changes or loss that they know something is wrong.
The vision loss associated with these conditions is often permanent. Regular comprehensive eye exams promote early detection and allow your eye doctor to begin proper management before vision impairment occurs.
A visit to your eye doctor can do a lot more than update your vision prescription or detect eye diseases. Eye exams can also detect a number of health problems that you wouldn’t expect to impact your eyes.
Some of the health conditions an eye exam can detect include:
Incorporating an annual eye exam in addition to your yearly physical will help make sure your vision and overall health are in good shape.
Being over a certain age, having a family history of eye disease, and other personal characteristics can put you at an elevated risk of eye disease. This makes eye exams especially important, whether you exhibit symptoms or not.
If you have no underlying risk factors but experience one or more of the following, it may be time to see an eye doctor:
A good rule of thumb is, if you can’t remember the last time you saw an eye care professional, it’s time to make an appointment. Celebrate National Eye Exam Month this year with a comprehensive exam to keep your vision clear and comfortable.