Column: Clear reasons to visit eye doctor 


Commentary by Hannah Wilson

There is a common misconception that only individuals who wear glasses or contact lenses need to have their eyes checked on a regular basis. The reality is that this could not be further from the truth. Ocular health and vision problems can develop without any signs or symptoms. In fact, research shows that more than 16 million Americans struggle with undiagnosed visual impairments.

An in-person, comprehensive eye exam covers so much more than, “Which is clearer, Option 1 or 2?” In addition to determining any refractive error that may warrant correction, it includes a full assessment of the internal and external health of the eyes, which cannot be accurately evaluated without a face-to-face consultation. Many ocular diseases, such as glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness, are treatable with early detection before detrimental effects on vision take place.

Furthermore, the eyes often serve as a window into an individual’s overall health. More than 270 systemic conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis and various forms of cancer, can be identified through an in-person eye exam before they produce more serious symptoms. In 2018, optometrists helped detect signs of diabetes in more than 300,000 patients who were not aware that they had the disease, leading to earlier and more effective management.

If you are someone who has been putting off your eye care because you think you see perfectly, there is no better time to schedule an appointment than 2020, the year of the eye exam. If you have vision benefits or extra HSA money to use, do not wait until Dec. 31 to get your eyes checked. Beat the end of the year rush and schedule your in-person, comprehensive eye exam today!

Hannah Wilson is an optometrist at RevolutionEYES and Little Eyes Pediatric Eye Care in Carmel. She is happy to answer any questions you may have regarding your family’s vision needs and can be reached at [email protected].