The Why Behind Regular Eye Exams

Or the importance of good eye health

According to a survey by The Vision Council in the U.S., nine out of ten people think eye health is important, but only half take the time to get an eye exam. The majority of respondents said they only make an appointment when they feel they need it, but we know that Canadians tend to have a high tolerance for poor vision. And 85% of people say that sight is their most important sense!

Did you know that an eye exam does much more than just determine whether you need to wear glasses or contact lenses? Only an eye care professional can do a full evaluation of your ocular health. And as they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

You make regular visits to the doctor and the dentist to stay healthy, right? Your eyes are every bit as important. In fact, your eyes are the window to your health. Optometrists use state-of-the-art equipment to screen for common health problems whose symptoms might go unnoticed without an eye exam, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid disease, and even some forms of cancer. That’s why you should have frequent eye exams, even if you think you can see perfectly. Plus there are health issues such as cataracts, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and glaucoma that can be detected and treated well before the first symptoms appear.

The recommended frequency for eye exams will change throughout your life. For children, the first eye exam is generally recommended around nine months of age, then at three years, and before entering kindergarten. Annual exams are recommended until adulthood. Unless a health condition warrants more frequent monitoring, the Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends adults have eye exams every two years until 60, and annually thereafter. If you wear corneal lenses, you may also need to have an annual exam to maintain good eye health, since the contacts sit directly on your cornea.

Frequent eye exams also allow your optometrist to monitor your health and detect changes as soon as they arise, in order to treat them quickly.

Don’t forget that the cost of the exam is covered by RAMQ for people under 18, those 65 and older, and recipients of income security benefits. Make an appointment today with your Opto-Réseau optical professional to keep an eye on your health.