We are constantly using our eyes, but we often don’t always think about our eye health. You may not think that your vision impacts your overall health, but maintaining healthy eyes play an important role in keeping us safe.
Why children need vision exams for healthy eyes
Poor vision can start at birth or develop over time. It’s important to get your children’s vision screened before eye problems impact their quality of life. Children with poor vision often find it hard to focus in school, which can cause them to fall behind their peers. Additionally, vision problems can affect hand-eye coordination which may lower your child’s confidence in playing activities with their friends. All of this can lead to negative impacts on their mental health.
Signs of poor vision in children:
Below are just a few of the signs that your child may have poor vision:
- Recurring headaches or eye pain
- Head tilting or squinting to see objects that are far away
- Losing their place when reading
- Holding items close to their face
- Eye rubbing or frequent blinking
If your child is frequently complaining about their eyes or avoids doing tasks such as reading, it may be time to see an eye doctor. Adding vision benefits also helps maintain healthy eyes and gives you access to professional care if needed.
Why adults need vision exams for healthy eyes
According to a health survey from American Foundation for the Blind, 32.2 million adults in the United States have experienced vision loss. Unfortunately, these numbers are predicted to increase in the upcoming years. Adults with vision problems may experience feelings of anxiety, fear, depression, loneliness and even social isolation.
The National Eye Institute recommends adults get comprehensive dilated eye exams every one to two years if they are over 60, are African American and over 40, or if there is a history of eye problems in their family. During the exam, an eye doctor uses special eye drops that widen, or dilate, the pupils. This is the best way for the eye doctor to check if glasses or contacts are needed or if the early stages of eye-related diseases are present.
Dilated eye exams not only help detect issues with your vision, but they may also help detect problems with your overall health. Conditions that may be found through eye exams include:
- Diabetic retinopathy – A complication of diabetes that damages the blood vessels of light-sensitive tissues in the retina. At first it may appear without symptoms, but this condition can lead to blindness if left undetected.
- Glaucoma – There are a few types of glaucoma, all of which damage the optic nerve in the eye. It’s the leading cause of blindness for individuals over 60. When recognized early, vision loss may be prevented.
- Cataracts – This condition clouds the clear lens of our eye, making it difficult to read, drive or see. Though it may not disturb your vision early on, it will eventually interfere. Surgery for cataracts is generally considered safe and effective.
- Age-related macular degeneration – This common eye disorder for individuals over 50 is caused by thinning of the macula — the part of the retina responsible for clear vision in your direct line of sight. This thinning may lead to blurred or reduced vision. Early detection of this condition allows for preventive measures that may delay or reduce vision loss.
If you’re interested in ensuring healthy vision for your family, click here to learn more about how you can make sure your eyes are covered.