Why eye examinations are important

We all take our sight for granted until something goes wrong….and I am sure we all know of a friend or relative who has had problems with their sight. So, as well as ensuring that you have an up to date prescription to give you best possible vision, the eye test also checks for early signs of disease. An example of this is Age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This is the commonest cause of blindness in the over 65 age group.

It occurs when the macula, a small area in the back of the eye responsible for your central vision, deteriorates or breaks down. This results in distorted or loss of vision.

Another cause of poor vision is cataract. This is a clouding of the natural lens in the eye, causing a gradual; but, painless blurring or fogging of vision. Cataract surgery is common nowadays and leads to good vision in most cases.

Glaucoma is also a potentially sight threatening eye condition. Most people with glaucoma are not aware of any problems in the early stages because the central vision is unaffected but there is a loss of the peripheral or side vision. If there is a family history of glaucoma or you have diabetes or high blood pressure or if you are of African origin, you have a higher risk of developing glaucoma.

People with diabetes can have added eye problems due to diabetic retinopathy. This is a condition that damages the blood vessels at the back of the eye and ultimately can result in serious loss of vision. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in theworking age group.

Many elderly people report a gritty dry feeling in their eyes on a regular basis. This is due to a reduction in tear production by the tear glands and leads to discomfort. A common remedy for this condition is the use of artificial tears which are widely available.

A more serious sight threatening condition is a detached retina. This occurs when the layer at the back of the eye, the retina, pulls away from the blood vessels that nourish it. Without urgent treatment it results in total or partial blindness. Most people will see early signs of a possible detached retina in the form of flashing lights or specks or floaters in their vision.

Childrens eyesight can change rapidly as they grow. 20% of children have an undetected problem with their vision. This can have a detrimental effect on their learning and normal daily activities.

People over the age of 40 will begin to experiencedifficulty with near vision .This condition is called Presbyopia and it requires the use of corrective lenses for near vision tasks

These are some of the diseases and conditions that can affect the eye. And these are the reasons why we recommend regular eye examinations.