There is a general misconception that if your eyesight has not changed then you don’t need an eye exam. To add to it, some patients feel that if they are healthy and have no pain then why go for their regular eye exam. So why are regular eye exams so important, and what is your optometrist looking for?
Did you know that your eye doctor can see signs of Multiple Sclerosis, Diabetes and even Increased Intracranial Pressure from your eyes? These are all things your optometrist looks for inside of your eyes at your regular eye exam, and they are all conditions that can affect young adults. Here are a few conditions you can be at risk for, with no signs of symptoms, that your optometrist is looking for:
Multiple Sclerosis: A condition in which the nerve at the back of the eye along with nerves throughout the body are affected. Young adults, particularly women, are at a higher risk for MS. A dilated exam allows your optometrist to evaluate your Optic Nerve for any changes.
Increased Intracranial Pressure: A condition in which the pressure inside of the brain goes up. Young women, particularly those with recent weight gain, are at a higher risk. Patients can sometimes experience headaches or no symptoms. This condition will affect the Optic Nerve causing swelling of the nerve, and can result in damage to the nerve if not treated.
Diabetes: With the rise of obesity, comes the rise of diabetes. Diabetes affects the blood vessels at the back of the eye causing them to bleed. Sometimes the first sign of diabetes is the changes to the vasculature at the back of the eye. A dilated exam is extremely important, especially if there is a family history of type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
Holes and Tears of the Retina: Holes and tears can happen to the tissue that lines the back of the eye. Any hole or tear is an opportunity for the liquid that fills the eye to get under the tissue and cause it to fall off the back of the eye. This has a profound effect on vision and if not treated ASAP it can cause blindness. Often times holes and tears will have no symptoms but can be found at your regular eye exam.
Those are just 4 of hundreds of conditions your Doctor of Optometrist is checking for. We look forward to meeting you and your family at your next eye exam.