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20/20 Myth: The Importance of Annual Eye Examinations

17 Feb Vision | Comments
20/20 Myth: The Importance of Annual Eye Examinations
 

There is an idea circulating that 20/20 is perfect vision. Based on this belief, most people think that if they see well, an annual comprehensive eye exam is unnecessary. This concept is a myth!

20/20 vision is the measurement of visual acuity. Visual acuity is the clarity of your eyesight and is only one aspect of vision. However, seeing well is no more of an indication of eye health as body temperature is an indication of systemic health. While a person may have an illness without having a fever, someone may have eyes that are “sick” while still seeing 20/20.

A comprehensive eye exam will not only measure your visual acuity, but also evaluate your eyes and overall body health. Doctors can identify diseases of the eye, such as glaucoma or macular degeneration, which are painless and can lead to blindness if left untreated. Additionally, diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, may be first discovered during an eye examination. Early detection may prevent life-altering situations, e.g. strokes or heart attacks. Other conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, lupus, and cancer may also be detected during your annual eye examination.

Annual eye examinations also allow eye doctors to evaluate the function of the entire visual system from the eyes to the brain. Each eye takes a different picture and it is the brain’s responsibility to combine them into one image. An eye doctor can determine if the skills necessary for this process to occur are present and functioning appropriately.

Your annual eye exam provides information for the doctor to measure changes of eyeglass or contact lenses prescriptions, diseases of the eye and body, and visual function. One hour, once a year, can make a significant difference in your vision, health, and quality of life.

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