March is Save Your Vision Month
The American Optometric Association is reminding everyone why that annual exam is so important along with your other yearly check-ups.
20/20 vision is a term used to describe average visual clarity. But eye care experts are using the verbiage 2020 as a campaign title for this year, an opportunity to reeducate the public on the importance of eye exams and removing barriers to getting them.
Dr. Bill Holec, Optometry Specialist at Drs. Tucker-Kudrna-Holec-Young Eye Care Centre, says “A lot of people view vision as very important, and would be very unhappy if they lost any part of their vision, but yet they don’t require much maintenance so therefore it doesn’t enter our thought process but it is an extremely valuable tool that we need to start taking better care of, and that is why we recommend those yearly eye exams for those things . We are always better catching things at an early stage rather than a later stage.”
Eye health and vision problems may develop without any obvious signs or symptoms. In- person, annual eye exams with a doctor of optometry can detect early signs of visual system diseases and critical indicators of other health issues.
Dr. Holec says that comprehensive eye exams do more than detect the need for glasses. They also can identify eye disease and other health problems.
“It’s part of a routine maintenance of your health system, the eye is one of the things that we can see into the eye and detect up to 270 different diseases, systemic diseases, not just optical eye conditions, some of the big ones are diabetes, high blood pressure, and some of those things are detectable in the eye before they are detectable maybe in other physical attributes, so it is part of their health maintenance; it’s not just an eye exam for glasses or contacts- that’s a small part of what we do,” says Holec.
Vision screenings that students get in school are not the same as a comprehensive eye exam. Holec says children should have a first eye exam at age 2 then at 5 and every year after that to check not only visual acuity but also to detect any learning disabilities.
Click here for more on comprehensive eye exams.