Vision is not a precise mechanism. How we see is affected by the condition of the eye, the action of the muscles surrounding the eyes, dryness, natural changes in focusing ability, health and medical issues, the aging process, and functions affecting the optic nerve and the brain itself. Your body is a unit. What affects one part can affect other body functions that may seem totally unrelated. Each of us is unique; our eyes may react differently to illness, trauma, medications, blood sugar levels, allergies, etc. Even pregnancy or hormonal changes or emotional stress have been known to affect vision. Sometimes unexplainable vision changes can occur with no clear-cut cause. Most normal visual changes are of minimal to moderate amounts, occurring gradually. Any large differences or sudden fluctuations can be indicative of health issues that need to be addressed immediately.
Vision can change rapidly in children. Yearly checkups are very important as children do not always know what they are supposed to be able to see, therefore they may not complain until the problem becomes advanced. 80% of learning is visual. Untreated vision problems can affect learning ability, athletic performance, and even a child’s self-esteem. As adults, it is our responsibility to act on their behalf.
During the twenties and thirties vision seems to be more stable with fewer changes. In most cases when we reach our forties vision again undergoes changes as the eye struggles to focus at different distances. This is the age at which most people experience presbyopia. Usually the process involves several years of gradual loss of the ability to see near tasks such as reading fine print, computer work, threading a needle, etc. Sometimes it may seem to occur practically overnight. This problem is usually correctable by wearing reading or bifocal or progressive lenses.
From the age of 50 on, age-related eye diseases begin to appear. Many potentially blinding diseases of the eye exhibit no noticeable symptoms until permanent damage to vision has already been done. Therefore yearly exams are important even if the patient doesn’t feel they are having any problems.
Contact lens patients should always be seen on a yearly basis to monitor the fit and condition of their contact lenses and any physical changes to the eye that may be the result of contact lens wear. Arizona law allows filling a contact lens RX with only enough lenses to carry the patient through to their next yearly exam date.
Those with a family history of eye disease should see their eye doctor yearly to check for any early signs of eye disease, as many tend to be hereditary. Regular checkups are important for good vision and good eye health. Fortunately most vision problems can be easily corrected with proper eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Schedule your checkup today and see the world better tomorrow!