Published: August 28, 2019
August is National Eye Exam Month. This is a good time to remember the importance of getting regular, comprehensive eye exams. Having your vision checked should be part of taking care of your overall health, just like going to the dentist and getting an annual physical.
Check with your optometrist or ophthalmologist to see when you are due for an annual exam. If you wear glasses or contacts, this will keep your prescriptions current. Even if you think your eyesight is fine, it may be that when you get a first pair of glasses or contact lenses the world comes into clearer view—everything from fine print to street signs.
If you have deteriorating vision, in some cases that can be an early indicator of other health issues because the eyes are linked to so many parts of the body. Getting vision exams on a regular schedule helps doctors to identify undiagnosed health issues in their early stages, such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or even cancer.
Routine eye exams may also help overcome some children's learning issues. Many children suffer from underlying vision problems that, if they go undetected, affect their ability to focus and concentrate.
Eye Exams: How Often?
- Children’s eyes should be checked regularly by an eye doctor or pediatrician.
- People with diabetes should have a dilated eye exam every year.
- People at higher risk for glaucoma should have a dilated eye exam every two years.
Tip: Take it Easy on the Eyes
If you spend a lot of time focusing on one thing, such as a computer screen, your eyes can get tired. Try the 20-20-20 rule to reduce eyestrain: every 20 minutes, look away about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds.