In the United States, more than 12.1 million school-age children have some form of vision problem, but as few as 14% of children receive an eye exam before entering first grade. Many vision problems begin at an early age, so it is important for children to receive proper eye care. Early detection and treatment are essential in preventing conditions that could potentially cause problems or permanent vision loss. The American Optometric Association recommends that every child has a professional eye exam shortly after birth, by six months of age and again just prior to entering school. Once in school, children should receive annual eye exams
Presbyopia, which is the age-related loss of accommodation (resulting in the need for bifocals), starts between the ages of 38-45 years, and affects virtually 100% of the population by around 50 years. It is estimated that 52% of the US population wears corrective lenses. Cataracts (loss of clarity of the lens inside the eye) is estimated to affect 42% of individuals between the ages of 52-64 years. However, only about 5% of these people suffer significant loss of vision. Nearly everyone develops some degree of cataracts by age 75-85 years. Cataracts, if caught early are surgically removed, generally as an outpatient with outstanding results
Half of all blindness can be prevented, yet the number of people suffering vision loss continues to increase. Having an annual eye exam is crucial in protecting your and your family’s eyesight. These annual exams allow your doctor to detect changes in the front of your eye so alterations can be made to your eyeglass or contact lens prescription. However, your doctor also needs to look at the back of your eye, the retina, to check that it is healthy and not damaged or showing signs of disease. Many eye diseases, if detected early, can be treated successfully without total vision loss.
Regular eye care, by means of annual eye exams can uncover both eye and systemic (entire body) problems. If these problems are left untreated, there is a risk of disability, suffering, and loss of productivity. The goals of an eye exam are to avoid or minimize adverse effects on the eye and vision, as well as to identify potential problems early in order to prevent any problems from getting worse, and potentially leading to vision loss.
So, protect you and your family’s vision and overall health by having annual eye exams.
Although small in size, (approximately 1 inch (2.54 cm) wide, 1 inch deep and 0.9 inches (2.3 cm) tall) the eye is a very complex organ. Your eyes are working from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep. Your eyes take in an enormous amount of information about the world around you – shapes, colors, movements, and more. They then send the information to your brain, where it’s processed, so the brain knows what’s going on outside of your body.