If you don’t wear glasses or contacts and haven’t had problems with your vision, you may take it for granted. You may see no reason to make an appointment for an eye exam, but that reasoning is faulty. The following are four good reasons to schedule routine eye exams after age 40.
1. Early detection of disease and vision changes
Like other health problems, some eye diseases don’t present with early symptoms. Once you realize something is wrong, an eye disease may have progressed to an advanced phase when it’s harder to treat.
Our board-certified ophthalmologists with Wolchok Eye Associates, PA, recommend a baseline screening eye examination at age 40. That’s the age when problems and changes in vision begin to occur. Our ophthalmologists can catch early signs of eye disease before you have symptoms.
At your baseline eye screening, your Wolchok Eye Associates ophthalmologist lets you know how often you should schedule eye exams in the future based on your health profile and family history. At subsequent exams, he compares the results with your baseline screening.
2. Prevent the loss of vision
You’ve likely heard of glaucoma, and you may have heard of age-related macular degeneration (AMD); both are serious eye diseases. You may not realize that neither glaucoma nor AMD presents symptoms in their early stages.
As the number one cause of blindness in the world, glaucoma causes loss in your peripheral or side vision, and age-related macular degeneration causes loss of vision in the central part of your eye, where you see objects straight in front of you.
These diseases progress slowly, so you don’t know you have them in the early stages when treatment is most effective. The only way to know you have glaucoma or AMD in an early phase is to have an eye exam in which your ophthalmologist dilates your eyes and looks for signs of the disease.
If you wait until you’re having a problem with your peripheral or central vision to have an exam, it may be too late to save that part of your vision. Knowledge is power. In knowing the risk, there is great motivation to make and keep regular eye examinations.
3. Prevent motor vehicle accidents, especially at night
As you get older, you’re likely to lose some degree of contrast sensitivity or be able to differentiate between shades of a color or similar colors. It’s harder to see an object as separate from its background.
If you’re noticing difficulty driving in fog or on a rainy night, you’ve likely lost some degree of your vision. Its loss is associated with vehicle accidents and driving a car, especially at night. Eye diseases, including glaucoma, AMD, and retinal diseases can cause loss of contrast sensitivity along with normal aging.
4. Digital eye strain
Do you spend hours a day looking at a screen? The habit or work requirement can result in dry eyes, blurry vision, muscular pain, and headaches. Your eye doctor can recommend tips to help you or prescribe special glasses for the time spent looking at the screen.
Call or book an appointment online today to schedule your comprehensive eye examination at our Jacksonville, Florida, office.