Lighthouse Guild, the leading not-for-profit healthcare organization dedicated to addressing and preventing vision loss and related health issues, encourages everyone to take care of their eyes and their overall health by getting regular eye exams.
According to The National Eye Institute of Health, approximately 14 million people in the U.S., aged 12 years and older have visual impairment, which is defined as distance visual acuity of 20/50 or worse. Among them, over 11 million could have improved their vision to 20/40 or better with the use of glasses or contact lenses.
Dr. Andrea Zimmerman, a low vision specialist at Lighthouse Guild says, “Early detection and treatment of visual impairment is the key to better eye health. Undiagnosed and untreated visual impairment can lead to permanent vision loss. Regular eye exams are important for adults and children of all ages.”
Dr. Zimmerman suggests the following five reasons to get an eye exam:
• Correct prescription: Vision changes over time, and the prescription that worked in the past may not be accurate anymore. Adjusting your prescription may be necessary to ensure you are reaching your best vision potential. The correct prescription will reduce eyestrain, optimize performance, and make your vision as clear as possible.
• Detect health problems: Eye exams can detect health issues such as diabetes, glaucoma, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
• Identify eye disorders: Diseases that affect the eye often do not have symptoms early, but can severely impact vision over time. Seeing a vision specialist regularly will help catch problems early on to improve treatment options. This is particularly important for degenerative eye conditions like macular degeneration or glaucoma, which can be treated if caught early.
• Maximize school performance: Experiencing vision problems can be extremely difficult for students, making it impossible to focus while in the classroom or studying and contributing to reading and learning issues. Getting the proper vision correction is essential to success in school.
• Treat headaches: Frequent headaches can be a symptom of vision issues. When a vision problem is untreated, eye strain can result which can bring on headaches.
Dr. Zimmerman says, “Vision is key to physical, mental and social well-being. Whether you are 5 or 95, taking care of your eyes should be a top priority.”