Do I Need an Eye Exam Every Year?

A commonly asked question about vision care is, “Do I need an eye exam every year?” The answer is yes, you really do need to have an eye exam every year. Preventative maintenance such as getting the oil in your vehicle changed or having your teeth cleaned and checked every six months to avoid cavities may help keep things in good working order. Here are five ways that an annual eye exam can support your overall health.

1) Identify Preventable Eye Problems with an Eye Exam

Yearly eye exams can not only stop vision problems from getting worse but also may prevent future vision problems from developing. According to a study conducted by World Health Organization, approximately 80 percent of vision impairment globally is considered avoidable. These yearly eye exams are exactly how eye doctors help prevent vision problems. Even if you feel your eyes are healthy, nearly 6 out of 10 adults report digital eye strain symptoms. These problems can worsen over time if not checked by an eye doctor.

2) Vision Changes Over Time

Vision changes are a normal part of aging, but if these changes are not monitored and taken care of with yearly eye exams, you may be facing unwanted vision problems. The same goes for glasses or contact wearers- having vision correctors does not mean that your eye exams should stop or happen less frequently. Vision changes for everyone over time, even individuals without vision correctors such as glasses or contacts.

3) Eye Exams Can Detect Signs of Serious Health Concerns

Eye exams are not only important to prevent vision problems from developing or worsening but to also provide your eye doctor a look into your overall health.  By dilating the eyes, doctors can detect signs of serious health conditions, like diabetes, brain tumors, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. This is done by looking at the blood vessels, arteries and cranial nerves located in the eyes. This is important because some of the symptoms for these health conditions do not appear until it is before the condition is serious.

4) Your Vision Prescription Can Change Over Time

For eyeglass wearers, it is important for you to visit an eye doctor yearly to ensure your prescription is up to date. The eyes change as we age, and with an out-of-date prescription, you risk eye strain and headaches.

5) Eye Exams May Help Catch Symptomless Eye Diseases

Common eye diseases like glaucoma develop gradually, often showing few or no symptoms, but if left untreated, they can result in vision loss. An eye exam is the only solution to catching this eyesight thief. This is done by assessing eye pressure, the health of the optic nerve and the state of the cornea, things only an eye professional can examine.   

There are many reasons why scheduling a yearly eye exam is important. Find an eye doctor near you to schedule a yearly exam before another year has come and gone. If you don’t have vision insurance, find out how VSP can help you save on your next visit to the eye doctor.

Information received through VSP Vision Care's social media channels is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice, medical recommendations, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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