All people should see an eye doctor as part of their regular, yearly physical examinations, but many people don't. It turns into a situation where if you don't have an eye problem, you likely don't visit with the eye doctor. But as you grow older, it becomes even more important for you to go to the eye doctor. Here's why.
Eyes don't stay young forever, and it goes beyond simple changes to your vision. As you grow older, you can become more likely to develop a number of eye health conditions, like glaucoma and cataracts. In fact, most people will develop cataracts at some point in their lives and will need them surgically removed.
Treating these conditions early on can make a big difference in your outcome, but you likely won't know that they're happening until symptoms emerge. By that point, the disease will be in full swing, and treatment may be less effective.
Macular degeneration is an insidious disease that can lurk for years before it finally strikes. That's because macular degeneration is often caused by prolonged exposure to UV radiation throughout your life and only emerges as a disease once you're older. This is a big deal because macular degeneration is one of the leading causes of blindness among the elderly.
Macular degeneration, like glaucoma and cataracts, can be treated, but it's again important to get help as soon as possible.
What to Expect
Going to the doctor for an eye exam is not something to worry about. You'll be brought to a screening room where your eye doctor will numb your eyes and then check their pressure. Then, they'll look into them with an ophthalmoscope to determine if the tissues of your eyes are healthy and functioning properly. Last but not least, they'll check your vision to ensure that you don't have any major deficits. That's literally it! Eye doctor appointments are painless and easy to go through, and if your eyes are healthy, you can expect to be in and out of the office in no time.
Visiting with an eye doctor becomes even more important as you age. If you're not sure how often you should be seen, make an appointment and ask your eye doctor for advice. They'll set up an appointment schedule with you based on the condition of your eyes as well as any other health conditions that you have that could impact them, like diabetes or high blood pressure.