Why Are Eye Exams Important

Eye exams are important at every age and state of health. Here in Northern Colorado a complete eye exam will consist of the following:

  • calculate your prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses.
  • conduct a routine check up on your eyes for general eye diseases
  • determine how well your eyes work together as a team
  • check your eyes to see if they have any indicators of your overall health

Who should get their eyes examined?

In Fort Collins, Loveland and Greeley, eye exams are important for everyone to have in their health maintenance schedule. As adults, we should have our eyes tested to make sure that prescriptions up to date and to be evaluated for beginning signs of eye diseases. For children and youth, eye exams can play an important role in keeping track of normal development. A person’s visual capabilities go hand in hand with the learning process. For many children, those who experience trouble seeing or interpreting what they see will frequently have difficulty with their studies as well. Most often children will not make mention of having any vision problems because they have no frame of reference as to what proper vision is. They are too young to remember or they have had these issue since early childhood and do not know any different. If you are noticing that your child has difficulty at school or displays some reading or learning problems, make certain to schedule an eye examination so that we can help you rule out an underlying visual cause.

What is the eye doctor checking for?

Your eye doctor here in Northern Colorado will check you for eye diseases and other problems that could lead to vision loss as well as determining if you have any nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. Below are listed a few examples of conditions that you eye doctor check for:

  • Amblyopia: This occurs when the eyes are misaligned or when one eye has a much different prescription than the other. The brain will “turn off” what the eye is seeing from the turned or blurry eye. If this condition goes untreated, amblyopia can result in a stunt of the visual development of the affected eye, which would then result in permanent vision impairment. Amblyopia is most often treated by patching the stronger eye for periods of time or if the turn is more severe surgery may also help.
  • Strabismus: Strabismus is defined as crossed or turned eyes. Talk with your eye doctor and ask them to check your eyes’ alignment (how the eyes work together as a team). Depth perception is most often caused by strabismus and given time it can also it can also lead to amblyopia.
  • Eye Diseases: There are many eye diseases, such as glaucoma and diabetic eye disease, which have very few or no obvious outward symptoms in their beginning stages. During a routine eye exam your eye doctor will check the overall health of your eyes both inside and out for any indications or warning signs of early issues. In many cases, it is the early detection and treatment of eye diseases which can help to reduce the risk of permanent vision loss in the future.
  • Other Diseases: Your eye doctor may be able to discover beginning indications of some systemic conditions and diseases by taking a closer look at your eye’s blood vessels, retina and so forth. This in part of the check up is more in depth and may be able to indicate if you are developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol or other issues.

For example, diabetes can cause small blood vessel leaks or bleeding in the eye, as well as swelling of the macula (the most sensitive part of the retina), which can lead to vision loss. It’s estimated that one-third of Americans who have diabetes and have no idea that they do; your eye doctor may be able to detect the disease before your primary care physician does.

What’s the difference between a vision screening and a complete eye exam?

The eye test that you take when you go to get your driver’s license renewed is an wonderful example of a vision screening.

A vision screening includes the following:

  • it is a common eye test that was created to help identify people who are at a higher risk or for vision issues.
  • includes short vision test performed by a school nurse, pediatrician or volunteers.
  • the eye test you take when you get your driver’s license renewed is another example of a vision screening.
  • can indicate that you need to get an eye exam, but it does not serve as a substitute for a comprehensive eye exam.

A comprehensive eye examination is always performed by an eye doctor and their staff and will involve the careful testing of all of the aspects of your vision. From the results of all of the tests from your complete exam, your doctor will then prescribe a treatment plan customized for your individual needs. Remember, here in Fort Collins, Loveland and Greeley, only an eye doctor can provide a comprehensive eye exam. Almost all family physicians and pediatricians are not fully trained to do this, and studies have indicated that they can miss very important vision problems that require treatment to remedy.

Treatment plans vary as widely as the vision issues do. These treatment plans can include eyeglasses or contact lenses, eye exercises or surgery for muscle problems, medical treatment for eye disease or simply a recommendation that you have your eyes examined again in a specified period of time.

Everyone in Northern Colorado needs a regular eye exam. These exams are vital to seeing with clarity and learning more easily and preserving your vision for the rest of your life!

For additional information or to schedule an appointment, please call 970-204-4020 or click on the link on the side of the page.

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