This post was sponsored by Think About Your Eyes as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. All thoughts and opinions are completely my own.

Think About Your Eyes: 7 Reasons Why You Need an Annual Eye Exam

I remember one day in the 7th grade, I came home from school and told my mom that I was struggling to see the chalkboard. She scheduled me an appointment with the eye doctor, and the doctor determined that I needed glasses. I haven’t always been diligent about getting my eyes examined on a yearly basis. Did you know that during your annual eye exam, your doctor checks for common eye diseases, determine how well your eyes work together, and they can determine your overall health? It is possible that your eye doctor can find common ailments such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other potential health problems before your primary care physician does, especially if you are overdue for an annual check up.

Back to school is in full swing and I realize that you might be super busy getting your children ready to head back to the classroom very soon. However, I want to introduce you to an important campaign called Think About Your Eyes, The Month of August is dedicated to Eye Exam Awareness, and if you or your kids haven’t had an eye exam in the last year you should make an appointment with your eye healthcare provider as soon as possible. Today, I wanted to share with you some important reasons why you should have everyone’s eyes tested.

Don’t Wait Until There is a Problem with Your Vision

Most people don’t realize the importance of going to the eye doctor; instead, they wait until they notice a problem with their vision to schedule an appointment. I know that I am guilty of this as well. I typically put off going to the eye doctor until I notice a problem with my vision or when I break my glasses.

Parents it is important to take your child to the eye doctor at an early age. Your child doesn’t always know that there is a problem with their vision until they are old enough to notice that they don’t see as clearly. Remember children are visual learners and 80% of what your child learns is through their eyes, yet 86% of children do not receive a comprehensive eye exam during that period.

Vision Screenings Don’t Catch Everything

My kids have always gotten a vision screening during their physical exams; however, it is merely a tool to determine if you need to schedule a visit with the eye doctor. They are unable to diagnose what is wrong with your eyes.

Ophthalmologists or Optometrists Discuss Family History

Think About Your Eyes: 7 Reasons Why You Need an Annual Eye Exam

During a routine eye exam, your doctor will ask you a bunch of questions regarding your family history. Do some research on your family history to determine if anyone in your family had a history of eye related health problems. Often, eye diseases don’t appear until later in life, but even small changes in your vision could impact your eyesight. Don’t forget to note any other major health problems that might affect your vision too. Use this checklist to ensure that you don’t miss anything in your family history that could have an impact on your vision:

  • medications including prescription and over the counter
  • smoking
  • look for family history of diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, or other major health problems
  • did anyone in your family history have eye related health problems
  • how much time do you spend in the sun
  • do you have any symptoms such as a headache, squinting, or other unusual symptoms
  • do you have allergies
  • do you have any health problems

Eye Diseases Often Go Unnoticed

Most eye diseases tend to progress slowly and go unnoticed until the disease has progressed significantly. Remember that vision loss can’t be reversed; however, you can prevent or at least slow down the disease’s progression with the help of a trained professional. Eye diseases such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy typically don’t have any physical symptoms, that people notice in the beginning stages, and they can be caught during an eye exam. These diseases are known to cause irreversible vision problems.

Track Changes in Your Eye Health

When you get an annual exam, your eye care professional can track even small changes with your eye health and note it in your chart. It is best to try and see the same eye care professional or office so that the attending ophthalmologist or optometrist can easily see your history.

Maintain the Best Vision Possible

Even if you don’t notice a change in your vision, it is best if you still schedule an eye exam on an annual basis. Eye exams not only check for eye health problems but they also determine if your vision has changed. If your vision has changed, you can get a new prescription for glasses or contacts. Experts say 5% to 10% of preschoolers and 25% of school-aged children have eye problems. Early identification of a child’s vision problems is crucial as, if untreated, can cause permanent vision loss. Scheduling a comprehensive eye exam before school starts in the fall allows for an optometrist to catch and correct any vision problems that may interfere with learning.Parents can’t wait for their children to say they aren’t seeing well as children don’t know what “normal” vision is.

Think About Your Eyes: 7 Reasons Why You Need an Annual Eye Exam

Eye Exams Are Important Part of Your Overall Health

Only 40% of parents feel that an eye exam is a key part of a child’s healthy checkup schedule, yet roughly 80% say an annual trip to the dentist and pediatrician are essential. Like I mentioned earlier, if your child’s doctor performs a vision screening and passes, they still need an annual eye exam.

 

If it has been more than a year since your last eye exam, you need to schedule a visit with an ophthalmologist or optometrist today. It is super important to Think About Your Eyes, your vision is super important and neglecting your eyes can have irreversible consequences. Find a Think About Your Eyes Doctor locator now.

For more information visit Think About Your Eyes website. You can connect with them on Facebook and Twitter. If an eye exam isn’t covered using your health insurance, I highly suggest that you check Groupon for deals and specials.

Have you had an annual eye exam within the last year?