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The need for periodic optometric examination has been recognized for many years. Vision and ocular health conditions are not always accompanied by recognizable symptoms. There is often an increased risk to the patient if treatment is not initiated in a timely manner. Relying on the occurrence of obvious symptoms in order to initiate an eye examination exposes the patient to an unnecessary risk.
If you’ve ever visited an eye doctor, you’re aware of the tests and procedures used to examine your eyes. But did you know that some of these exams can possibly save your life?
Many eye and vision problems have no signs or symptoms, so you may not realize your deteriorating vision is linked to something more serious, according to ophthalmologist Douglas Rhee, MD.
“Many eye and brain disorders have no warning signs,” he says. “In that sense, it’s like high blood pressure, which often doesn’t have obvious symptoms. But if high blood pressure is left untreated, it might make you susceptible to health problems, such as a stroke or heart attack.”
Visual impairments are on the rise, Dr. Rhee says, primarily because of the increase in the number of Americans turning 65 and older each year. With the maturing of Americans, the likelihood of developing eye conditions multiplies.
However, sometimes vision problems can be caused by a neurological problem, such as a brain tumor. A brain tumor’s symptoms might include blurred vision, double vision or loss of peripheral vision, causing you to think the problem is with your eyes. Read about a patient whose eye exam revealed a brain tumor.
If your doctor suspects a problem with your central and/or peripheral vision, you’ll probably undergo a visual field test, which can help detect other health conditions, such as:
“That's why it’s important to see your eye doctor regularly,” Dr. Rhee says. “It’s part of your preventative care, and will help to ensure you’re taking good care of yourself and your eyes.”
sources: http://www.uhhospitals.org/science-and-compassion-journal/articles/2018/01/how-an-eye-exam-can-save-your-life; https://opto.ca/health-library/frequency-of-eye-examinations