When it comes to preserving your eyesight, being proactive rather than reactive makes all the difference. Regular eye examinations are often put off until our vision becomes blurry or our eyes hurt or we have some other issue with our eyesight. But even if your vision seems perfectly fine, routine eye examinations are vitally important because they are often the only way to detect many of the worst eye diseases before they have robbed you of your sight.
Dr. Marc Bodenheimer says, “A lot of times, people will come in when they’re having problems and find out that if they’d come in two or three years sooner we could have kept them from having these problems. It makes it much more difficult to treat those problems at that point.”
He adds, “One of the things that’s amazing about vision is that you can lose vision in one of your eyes and not be aware of it.” Diagnosing eye diseases as early as possible gives you the best chance of saving your sight.
Some of the most common eye diseases can blind you before you’re even aware that you have them.
For example, diabetic eye disease is the most common cause of blindness in the United States, and has no symptoms in its early stages. And the second most common cause of blindness in the US is glaucoma, which is often referred to as the silent thief of sight because it also has no symptoms at all in the early stages. Vision loss is permanent with diabetic eye disease and glaucoma.
In addition, macular degeneration—which is the most common cause of blindness among Americans over age 50—also has no symptoms during the early stages. However, progression of the disease can be slowed when treated in the early stages.
Once these disease have advanced to the point that your vision is affected, it’s often too late to prevent vision loss. However, these diseases can be detected during the early stages with a comprehensive eye examination. It’s important to note that a comprehensive exam including dilation is necessary to thoroughly evaluate the eye’s health, including the optic nerve.
Particularly if you have a family history of diabetes, glaucoma, or macular degeneration, it’s crucial that you stay on top of annual comprehensive eye examinations, including dilation, with an ophthalmologist. Don’t wait until your vision is blurry or you notice that you’re squinting more often. Be proactive with your vision so that you can see clearly well into your golden years.
At Baptist Eye Surgeons, we treat a wide range of eye disorders and are one of the most trusted eye specialists in Tennessee. Baptist Eye Surgeons is an ophthalmological practice dedicated to providing quality eye care to patients whose needs range from routine comprehensive eye examinations to complex eye surgeries. To request an appointment or get directions to our Knoxville and Morristown locations, visit our website. Call us at 865-579-3920 for more information, or visit us online to schedule an appointment.