Routine visits to the eye doctor are just as important in maintaining our overall health as the appointments we set with our primary care providers, dermatologists, and dentists.
Even those with the most seemingly healthy eyes should schedule preventive eye care visits. But if you haven’t been to an eye doctor in a while (or ever), you might be worried about your first visit.
If you’re nervous about your first visit with an eye doctor, don’t worry. At Monocle, we walk you through every step of your appointment, ensuring you know exactly what to expect and when to expect it.
In this post, we’re demystifying the eye exam experience. Because taking care of our eyes is important. And we’re willing to bet you probably haven’t had an eye exam outside of the 10-second one you got when you first obtained your driver’s license. Or maybe you haven’t had one since that one time in elementary school. Either way, it’s probably time to schedule your next (or first) appointment.
Keep reading to get the inside scoop on what to expect for your first visit to Monocle.
The importance of comprehensive eye exams.
Far too often, people wait to visit their eye doctor until they start to notice a problem. But our eyes are not to be taken for granted.
A comprehensive eye exam is an integral part of your preventive eye care. It is an opportunity for your eye doctor to assess the quality of your vision, ensure any prescription lenses you're wearing are up to date (or maybe prescribe some lenses), test how your eyes work together, and perhaps most importantly, check the overall health of your eyes.
How often you should see your eye doctor.
Many common eye diseases develop asymptomatically, so early detection is imperative for preventing vision loss. That’s why we recommend our patients be seen, at a minimum, annually.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, children should have their first eye exam around age 3. Since this is typically the age children begin schooling, this exam will help determine if your child needs vision support before entering school.
Adults that are healthy and have no symptoms of vision problems should have a comprehensive eye exam at age 40 since this is when common vision problems and eye diseases begin.(1)
For those who have a high or fluctuating prescription, have already been diagnosed with an eye disease, or have other risk factors, we can recommend an individualized schedule for your eye care.
Common eye disorders and diseases that can be detected in an eye exam.
Ongoing eye care is essential to the maintenance of our vision. With regular eye exams, we can catch early signs of common eye disorders and diseases such as:
- Myopia, or nearsightedness
- Hyperopia, or farsightedness
- Astigmatism, or distorted vision at all distances
- Strabismus, or a disorder in which your eyes do not line up in the same direction
- Amblyopia, or a lazy eye
- Macular degeneration, or an eye disease that can blur your central vision
- Cataract, or a cloudy area in the lens of your eye
- Glaucoma, or a damaging of the optic nerve which can lead to vision loss or blindness
- Diabetic retinopathy, or an eye condition that affects the blood vessels in the retina which can cause vision loss or blindness in those who have diabetes
- Among many others
The most common eye disorders.
Optometrists.org shares that myopia affects up to 42 percent of all school-aged children (2). Luckily, by the age of 20, myopia usually levels itself. But it’s also possible for adults to be diagnosed with myopia. The Cleveland Clinic notes, “When this happens, it’s usually due to visual stress or a disease like diabetes or cataracts.”(3)
On the other hand, hyperopia affects 13 percent of children between ages 6 to 17, according to Optometrists.org (4). Hyperopia tends to affect elderly populations more than children or young adults.
Both myopia and hyperopia are also known as refractive errors, or a type of vision problem that makes it difficult to see clearly. As a group, refractive errors are the most common type of vision problem. In fact, more than 150 million Americans have some form of refractive error, according to the National Eye Institute (5).
Luckily, there are ways to correct refractive errors. It can be as simple as obtaining a prescription for glasses or contact lenses to help you see more clearly. So don’t skip your annual eye exam. It could make all the difference in your vision.
What to expect during your eye exam.
At Monocle, our eye exams are patient-centered and catered to your individual vision needs.
We'll start by discussing your general health history, your vision needs, and any problems you've noticed.
Next, we will test your visual acuity (Remember those eye charts with the big “E” on top?) and measure any refractive error you might be experiencing so we can provide you with a new or updated glasses prescription if necessary. If you're looking for contact lenses, we'll take additional measurements to find the right fit for your eyes.
We'll also test how your eyes move and work together to screen for strabismus, and we’ll assess your ocular health using the latest state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment including optical coherence tomography and fundus photography.
Before the end of the appointment, we’ll also thoroughly examine your eyes for all those common eye disorders and diseases we discussed earlier in this post.
How to schedule a comprehensive eye exam.
Remember, preventive eye exams are key to maintaining the health of your eyes and the quality of your vision. And it’s never too late to start taking care of your eyes.
If you haven’t had an eye exam in over a year, schedule an appointment with our team of eye care providers.
Monocle’s services include:
- Eye exams
- Contact lens fittings
- Lasik and cataract co-management
- Pediatric eye care
- Eye disease management
- Myopia control
The Monocle Premier Eye Care team offers years of experience and a true commitment to providing you and your family with excellent eye care.
Your satisfaction is our top priority. We take as much time as is necessary to have conversations about the health of your eyes, your vision, and anything else with a focus on optimizing your well-being.Click here to schedule your eye exam.