Vision is an important part of our daily lives. We need good vision to drive, participate in class, use heavy equipment, and so much more. Even if you aren’t one of the millions of Americans who live with vision impairment, it is still necessary to have regular eye exams to determine if you are at risk for certain eye diseases and preventable eye injuries.
Your vision is part of your overall health
Elan Eye Boutique in Braselton, Georgia does much more than determining a prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses during a comprehensive eye exam, they are also assessing how well your eyes work together as a team and evaluating them as an indicator for your overall health. Eye care professionals are often among the first to detect chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
A comprehensive eye exam can help to detect common vision problems and diseases such as diabetic retinopathy (the leading cause of blindness in the United States), cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Because these diseases often occur without any warning signs, early detection is imperative so that your eye care professional may prescribe medication, corrective eyewear, or surgery to minimize vision impairment.
The components of a comprehensive eye exam
In addition to evaluating your eyes for refractive error (nearsighted, farsighted, and astigmatism), Elan Eye Boutique in Braselton, Georgia checks for other eye problems and diseases such as amblyopia (one turned-out eye or one eye prescription is much stronger than the other), as well as focusing and eye teaming problems.
Here are the typical components that you can expect during a comprehensive eye exam:
Dilation allows Elan Eye Boutique in Braselton, Georgia to view the inside of your eye. To do this, drops will be placed in each eye so as to widen the pupil. Dilating the pupil admits more light into the eye for a thorough examination. A special magnifying lens provides a clear view of the retina, macula, and optic nerve.
The exam for a person with diabetic retinopathy may show swelling or leaking of the blood vessels in the retina, or an abnormal growth.
With age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the exam may show yellow deposits or clumps of pigment beneath the retina.
In a person with glaucoma, the exam may show changes in the shape and color of the optic nerve fibers and or excessive cupping of the optic disc.
Tonometry also helps to detect glaucoma and is that quick puff of air that the doctor shoots into your eye. Or, they use a pressure-sensitive tip on or near your eye. Either exam helps your optometrist detect elevated eye pressure, which is a risk for glaucoma.
Visual field tests assess your peripheral vision; a loss of peripheral vision is often an indicator of glaucoma.
Visual acuity tests are when you read the vision chart, helping your eye care professional to determine how well you see at certain distances.
The importance of eye care for children
While it is just as important for adults to have their eyes regularly tested in order to keep prescriptions current and check for eye disease, regular eye care exams for children ensure proper vision development as well as academic achievement.
Many times, children will struggle in school due to vision problems. All too often, poor vision goes undetected due to the fact that the children are simply unaware that they have a vision problem; they aren’t familiar with what ‘normal vision’ looks like. And with vision being such an important part of the learning process, and roughly 80 percent of what kids learn in school is presented visually, regular eye care exams for children are a must.
If your child is struggling in school, it is necessary to rule out common vision problems that can be corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses. Some vision problems that are related to how the eyes function, and the brain processes that visual information, can have a negative impact on your child’s learning abilities. Any vision problem that is related to reading or academic performance is considered a “learning-related vision problem,” which is not the same as a learning disability.
Learning-related vision problems can be classified into three types:
- Type I. Eye health and refractive problems. These are the common visual acuity and refractive error issues such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism but also include optical errors such as high-order aberrations. This type affects visual input.
- Type II. Functional vision problems. This type refers to the various functions of the eye as well as the neurological control such as eye teaming, fine eye movements, and focusing amplitude, accuracy and flexibility. Dysfunctional visual skills can lead to blurred and double vision, headaches and eye strain that will affect learning. Functional vision problems also affect visual input.
- Type III. Perceptual vision problems. In order to visually perceive what you see, you must identify it, understand it, judge its importance, and then relate it to previously stored information in the brain. This type of learning-related vision problem affects visual processing and integration.
Symptoms of learning-related vision problems:
- Headaches or eye strain
- Blurred or double vision
- Crossed eyes
- Eyes that move independently of each other
- Avoidance of reading
- Short attention span during visual tasks
- Closing or covering one eye
- Placing the eyes unusually close to objects
- Excessive blinking or rubbing of the eyes
- Difficulty remembering what was read
- Omitting or repeating words, or confusing similar words
- Persistent reversal of words or letters after second grade
- Difficulty remembering, identifying or reproducing shapes
- Poor eye-hand coordination
- Losing place while reading, or using a finger as a guide
Healthy eyes and good vision play an important part of our everyday lives as adults, and are necessary for healthy development as well as academic achievement for children. By scheduling regular eye care exams for you and your children, you can optimize all aspects of daily life, prevent dangerous eye diseases and ensure overall good health.