The importance of eye health cannot be understated. The CDC estimates that 11 million Americans over the age of 12 are in need of some level of vision correction. We regularly think to prioritize preventative care through professionals like family medical practitioners and dentists. Unfortunately, many of us do not place the same priority on our eye health… unless it becomes reactive, once physical symptoms indicative of eye care issues appear.
We humans are visual creatures. In fact, it is currently estimated that 80-85% of how we learn, perceive, process and interact with reality is based on our sense of sight. By placing priority on the importance of eye health, we can help ensure good vision for many years to come. In order to understand why eye health is so important, let’s take a look at the benefits of preventative eye care.
Preventive Eye Care for Children: Start Early!
Many times, we tend to think of vision problems as something that becomes more prevalent as we get older. And that is generally true in the case of diseases like macular degeneration. Thinking like this runs the risk of vision problems in the future that could have been arrested or corrected in the present. The key is starting early by making eye care for children just as much a priority as a doctor or dentist. Unfortunately, fewer than 15% of all preschool children receive eye exams, and less than 22% receive any level of vision care whatsoever. According to the CDC, children should get regular checkups by an optometrist or pediatrician. This includes:
- Newborn to 6 months of age
- 6 months of age to 1 year
- Approximately 3 years of age
- Approximately 5 years of age
Scheduling regular eye care for children should also include screening at least once between the ages of 3 and 5 to detect amblyopia, or risk factors for this disease. Children are not the only ones who can benefit from preventative eye care. Adults of all ages and health conditions should also prioritize preventative eye care. Doing so just might save your life in ways that, on the surface at least, seem to have nothing at all to do with our eyesight.
The Benefits of Preventative Eye Care
Philosophically speaking, the eyes are widely believed to be the “windows of the soul.” In medical science, they are also the windows to the health of our bodies. The benefits of preventative eye care include the ability to spot various diseases, like:
- Blood issues
- High Blood Pressure & Cholesterol
- Brain Tumors
- Liver Disease
The other major benefit of preventative eye care includes the ability to spot eye diseases like macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma. The benefits of preventative eye care will continue to grow as science, medicine and technology do too. In fact, researchers are already working on a way to detect Alzheimer’s disease during an eye exam.
Vision Screening vs. Comprehensive Eye Exam
It is important to understand that spotting is not the same as diagnosing. So if your optometrist discovers something they believe could be a health issue, they can make a recommendation for further testing, or for a specialist in the case of non-eye related diseases. In terms of diagnosing eye health issues specifically, we want to take a moment and discuss the difference between a vision screening and comprehensive eye exam.
- Vision screenings are generalized procedures that can be performed individually or in large groups (like schools), and are only meant to indicate the presence of a potential eye health issue.
- A comprehensive eye exam is performed individually by an optometrist or ophthalmologist. It can diagnose specific eye diseases and disorders including glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration. Can’t stand the dreaded Puff Test? We have the latest pain-free technology, including retinal scans, cameras and tonometers!
Many times, and this especially applies in places like schools, parents can derive a false sense of security from their children getting a general vision screening. We strongly recommend scheduling eye exams for children based on the CDC’s recommended schedule above. Adults should plan to receive an annual comprehensive eye exam, unless specific circumstances dictate the need for exams on a more periodic basis. These circumstances can include medical conditions like the ones above, but they can also be based on professional requirements.
Frequent Eye Exams for Jobs That Require Good Eyesight
It is easier to perform many jobs with good eyesight. But did you know there are some jobs that require good eyesight? People who work these jobs must take extra special care of their eye health, because not doing so could mean no longer being able to work. Some jobs that require good eyesight are:
- Pilots (Civilian and Military)
- Air Traffic Controllers
- Police Officers
Other jobs have hazards that place workers at high risk of vision damage than what we would consider “average” in our society. At the same time, and just like the professions above, most of these are jobs that require good eyesight too. Some of these jobs are:
- Auto repair
No matter whether you work any one of these jobs or not, we are always happy to get you in for an eye exam, fitting or any other type of appointment as you require and around your schedule.
The Best Optometrists in North Phoenix
When you choose Tatum EyeCare for you vision health and fashion needs, you are choosing optometrists in North Phoenix who are invested in our clients and community. We are happy to answer any other questions you have about general eye health, or to schedule your appointment with one of our optometrists today. We’ve proudly served the Valley of the Sun for over 20 years. Stop in to view our extensive eyewear collection, and see for yourself how Tatum EyeCare reframes customer service and optical expertise for everyone!