Most people don’t take regular eye check-ups very seriously. But that is because most people don’t know that they can cause serious damage to their eyes by not getting them examined regularly. It often happens that patients come in with the damage already done. If they had gone for regular checkups, they could’ve stopped the damage from happening. So, people should know when to start getting check-ups and how often they should get them done. This has been standardized by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
It is recommended that adults over 40 should receive check-ups once every 2 years. Those over 50 should do it once a year. If you doubt whether this is necessary or not, you should know that certain diseases can cause a lot of damage within this time period. And for serious conditions like Glaucoma, the frequency of examination needs to be as high as every 3 months!
How Examinations are Done
During a test, the ‘Snellen’s eye chart’ (containing alphabets going big to small) is displayed at a distance of 20 feet. The patient is asked to identify the letters. If someone doesn’t know how to read, symbols are used – which they have to match to cards give to them. For children, the ‘HOTV’ test is used. The letters are displayed on the wall and they are given cards which they have to match to the letters.
Newer technology is also used to detect eye problems, such as the digital retinal eye scanner. It gives an accurate, computerized picture of the blood vessels in the eye and it is quick and comfortable for the patient. It gives out essential information needed to detect various diseases like diabetes and glaucoma.
How to Prepare for Examinations
To make sure you have a proper examination, make sure you prepare correctly in advance. You need to have certain things with you when you go to the clinic.
Make a full list of all the problems that you face. Take your glasses, contact lenses and any previous prescriptions with you. Tell the doctor about any previous illness that is somehow related to the eye. If you think something else is also relevant to the problem, always tell the doctor without hesitating. Also, maintain a record of all past surgeries in case the doctor wants to see them. Don’t forget to mention problems that your family has a history of.
By telling your doctor everything and giving him all the necessary information, you make sure that you get a proper check-up and a correct prescription. It is usually a good idea to carry your health insurance card with you. You should know that eye care professionals often work in close relations with other health care professionals. This is because many problems of the eye arise from other health issues and also because eye tests can help detect other diseases which need separate treatment.
So by getting regular eye checkups you are doing yourself a huge favor. It will help you catch many problems and diseases before they cause serious damage. So visit an eye care professional today!