November 1, 2019

Eye Tests: Why Are They Important?


Read the full NZ Herald article here

Many people don’t get an eye test done until they’ve already run into issues, like the appearance of cataract symptoms, or the early stages of keratoconus. It’s common for most of us to put off eye tests for years, even decades, even though we likely wouldn’t treat other medical appointments the same way.

Of course, getting an eye test once you’ve noticed something different about your sight is a good idea, but did you know it’s recommended to get an eye test every year or two, even if you haven’t noticed any changes? Even if you’ve got 20/20 vision, eye tests can help your eye doctor notice the early signs of certain conditions, including some you might not expect, like high-blood pressure or diabetes!

Common eye conditions annual tests can detect

Eye testing can detect a whole range of vision problems, and some issues are more common than others. Among the most common conditions include cataracts, myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. All of these issues are easily treatable if caught early enough. However, as it is with most illnesses, the longer these conditions are left untreated, the harder it becomes to treat them. The truth is, many people who only come in for testing when they’ve noticed vision changes run the risk of leaving things too late. 

That said, all eye conditions vary in how severe they are from person to person. In any case, it’s best to stick to annual tests, so you can catch anything before it develops too far.

Health conditions eye tests can detect

It is a fact that eye tests can detect the early signs of diabetes, and the only way to diagnose diabetic retinopathy is to have a dilated eye exam. The eye contains many tiny blood vessels, so signs of diabetes, which can affect blood flow, can be seen in the eye. Typically, an ophthalmologist will be able to see minuscule leaks from blood vessels in the eye that have sustained damage.

Furthermore, this is also how a retina exam pinpoints high blood pressure problems. Blood vessels in the eye are so small that any changes that occur are easy to notice. High blood pressure can also lead to leaking blood vessels, but an eye doctor will also be able to see if the blood vessels have narrowed, another sign of raised blood pressure. 

Finally, having higher than average cholesterol, which can be a trigger for cardiovascular issues and strokes, can also be spotted in the eyes. High cholesterol often doesn’t have any noticeable physical symptoms, but an eye exam can offer early warning signs: lumps of cholesterol in the blood vessels of the eye. 

What do eye doctors recommend? 

Beyond getting a regular eye test, there are a lot of things you can do to avoid running into the most common vision problems. This includes ensuring you use sunglasses to protect your eyes in strong sunlight from the sun’s UV rays. 

Ophthalmologists also recommend quitting smoking, as smoking is a leading cause of vision loss and glaucoma. For further advice, please see your GP or eye specialist.

Think you may need vision correction?

One of the biggest reasons people avoid eye tests is because they don’t want to end up wearing glasses. Thankfully, there are a number of procedures that can help correct your vision permanently. 

No matter what vision conditions you may have, Re:Vision Sight Correction Centre can help! We have options for correcting short-sightedness, far-sightedness, astigmatism and options for keratoconus treatment.

To find out more, and book an assessment today, get in touch with our friendly team! Don’t put it off any longer, let us help you see how bright the future really is.

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