Why do I need a routine eye exam?
Although it is obvious why vision is essential to everyday living, many people in society today do not give much thought to the actual health of their eyes. One could argue that people take their eyes and eyesight for granted. The truth is that many vision-threatening eye conditions and diseases can exist without a person being aware until irreversible damage has been done. These diseases include amblyopia (a “lazy eye”) in children as well as glaucoma and macular degeneration in adults. Furthermore, serious underlying medical conditions and diseases can be initially diagnosed simply by examining one’s eyes. These diseases include: diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, strokes, Lyme disease, lupus, sarcoidosis, various forms of arthritis and tuberculosis among others. It is for these reasons routine eye exams should be part of every person’s regular health check-ups. Due to this fact, most health insurance plans now include routine eye exams in their benefits.
It is astounding to realize that most people place a higher importance on their teeth than they do their eyes. Most people get their teeth checked and cleaned twice a year. In many instances, these same people do not feel as though their eyes need to be checked stating “my eyes are fine”. One can be under a false “sense of security” due to the fact that many eyes diseases are initially without any obvious symptoms. The plain truth is that there is no more important sense than one’s vision. It is for this reason, we make the following recommendations regarding how often to have routine eye exams performed:
- Before age 5: A comprehensive routine eye exam should be performed before a child starts kindergarten
- Ages 5 to 34: A comprehensive routine eye exam should be performed every 24 months. If a person wears eyeglasses or contact lenses then eye exams every 12 months are strongly recommended
- Ages 35 to 64: A comprehensive routine eye exam should be performed every 18 to 24 mos. If a person wears eyeglasses or contact lenses then eye exams every 12 months are strongly recommended
- Over age 65: A comprehensive eye exam should be performed every 12 months
Please remember these recommendations are for routine eye exams. Should a person have an eye problem or be at higher risk for eye-related diseases, more frequent evaluations will be recommended. For example, people with diabetes should have a comprehensive eye exam at least every 12 months.
THE FAMILY EYE CARE CENTER NOW OFFERS OPTOMAP
Optomap is state-of-the-art retinal imaging technology. Patients can choose this option as part of their routine eye exam.
Benefits to the patient:
- Encounter a more comfortable, less invasive retinal exam.
- Have the ability to view the image of their retina and have it explained by the Doctor.
- Forego dilation (in most cases).
- Shorten the amount of time in the office.
Having optomap allows our Doctors to detect even the earliest sign of disease on the retina including:
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Age related macular degeneration
Optomap is not covered by your insurance during a routine eye exam. There is a $35 fee for this technology.