The Importance of Eyecare

Female physician examining another female patient's eyes

6 reasons you shouldn’t skip your next eye exam

We want the Pride Mobility community of riders to keep moving forward, with their eyes on the road ahead.

Apart from maintaining a balanced diet, with enough omega-3 fatty oils, keeping your bi-annual eye exam is the absolute best way to preserve your vision.

It’s not just about keeping your mobility, it’s about being there and at your best for the people who depend on you. So here are the six top reasons you should see an eye doctor at least once every other year.

Before we get started, it’s important to note the difference among eye care providers. Franchise eye care businesses want to sell glasses. Eye doctors who can prescribe lenses and glasses work there, but there’s a good chance you won’t see the same doctor more than once.

For the best continuity of care, find an eye independent eye doctor or practice group — if you don’t have one already — where you can have a relationship with the medical staff. An eye doctor or doctors who understand your specific medical profile and needs have better tools to help you see better. You’re also more likely to get a comprehensive eye exam from one of those kinds of places.

1. Macular degeneration can often be slowed, but not reversed

We’ll do the big one first. Macular degeneration creeps up and robs us of our vision without warning. Early and intermediate age-related macular degeneration (AMD) may not actually produce any vision loss. Vision loss sometimes doesn’t show up until late AMD, and at that point, it’s difficult to treat.

Doctors have limited treatment options for macular degeneration and cannot cure it outright, but lifestyle changes often slow progression.

2. Ditto glaucoma

Doctors have more treatment options for glaucoma than macular degeneration, though, like macular degeneration, glaucoma has no cure.

So catching it early, during regular eye exams is the best way to slow its effects.

3. It could be time for a new prescription

On a lighter note, if you’ve gone years with the same glasses, same prescription, you probably haven’t noticed them growing less and less effective.

It’s amazing how the world opens up when you’ve got the right Rx for your specs. Make sure you keep it up to date.

4. If you have diabetes, you’re at risk of diabetic retinopathy

Like glaucoma and macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy creeps up unnoticed. It’s triggered entirely by having diabetes, and can be prevented with adequate chronic disease maintenance.

However, the optometrist’s chair is the best place to catch it. More dramatic procedures may be in order if it goes unchecked for too long.

5. Cataracts are best treated early

Starting to see a trend here?

Eyeballs are incredible, delicate organs. When optometrists and ophthalmologists have to make dramatic interventions to treat advanced disease, there’s a greater chance they won’t work as effectively or that they’ll damage some other part of the eye in the process.

If you are starting to develop cataracts, treating them early is the best way to make sure they don’t get too far out of hand.

According to All About Vision, just about everybody over the age of 70 will have started to develop cataracts.

6. Floaters or retinal detachment?

Most people experience floaters. But the quirky squiggles that refuse to let you focus on them could also be early signs of retinal detachment. People over the age of 60 often see an uptick in the number of floaters polluting their vision.

How do you distinguish between harmless floaters and a detached retina?

See an optometrist, of course!

A last word on eye health

It’s uncanny how our eyeballs respond to our lifestyles. Hard living, for example heavy smokers and people with lousy diets, often see their eyesight deteriorate faster and earlier.

Eyesight weakens with age. That’s inevitable. Good health decisions and a doctor’s attention are two of the best ways to make sure it’s a gradual, manageable decline.

You’ll want to keep a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants to feed your eyes with the nutrients they need to stay healthy.

Next, wear sunglasses when outdoors (even on cloudy days) or at least eyeglasses that block ultraviolet light.

Finally, and perhaps most important, we all know smoking has terrible health effects, but it’s particularly brutal on the eyes. Cataracts, macular degeneration and glaucoma, retinal detachment and dry eyes (just to name a few awful diseases) all have ties to smoking.

So if you smoke, one of the single best things you can do for your eyesight is kicking the addiction.

*this article is not intended to give medical advice – please consult with your physician for all questions about your healthcare*

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