Here’s why you should be having regular eye exams
Eye health plays a big part in your overall health, whether or not you wear glasses or contact lenses.
“During eye exams, we address a lot of items, such as checking your vision and discussing areas of your life where you wish you could see better,” explains Dr. Shelby Helmeid, optometrist at Aurora Health Center in Hartford. “We also check to see how your eyes are working together, your peripheral vision, and the range of motion of your eye muscles.”
If you do wear glasses or contacts, any prescription changes can be monitored at this appointment. Dilated eye exams are important because it’s the best way to check your eye health, specifically the back and inside of the eye.
“It can be easier to treat conditions early on or prevent something in the future when regularly monitoring your eye health,” says Dr. Helmeid. “There are some eye conditions, like glaucoma, where symptoms might not appear until it has progressed. Visiting your eye doctor and detecting any conditions earlier means they could be easier to treat the sooner they are caught.
Along with regular eye exams, there are things you can do every day to take care of your eyes, such as wearing UV sunglasses. Even in the winter, the reflection from the snow can be almost as difficult to see in compared to the summer. Another thing to protect your eyes is wearing safety glasses when you’re doing yard work such as cutting branches or mowing the lawn.
Dr. Helmeid suggests that if you spend a lot of time looking at screens, try taking breaks from looking at electronic devices when possible.
“It is called the 20/20/20 rule,” Dr. Helmeid says. “Every 20 minutes that you are using an electronic device, take 20 seconds, and look 20 feet away. Looking away from the screen and into the distance every so often can help prevent eye strain and dry eyes by the end of the day.”
Your general health and certain medical conditions can impact your vision and eye health, so it’s important to make sure you’re maintaining your overall health.
If you have any concerns with your eye health or vision, or have noticed a gradual change in vision that’s affecting your daily life, let your eye doctor know and schedule an appointment. Reach out to your eye doctor right away if you have any sudden vision changes or pain.
About the Author
“Hannah Koerner is a Public Affairs Specialist with Advocate Aurora Health. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay. In her free time, she enjoys biking, snowshoeing, and cheering on Wisconsin sports teams.”