Shore Eye Associates

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Why should I get an eye exam even if my vision is good?

eye exam

There are several treatable eye diseases that at their earliest onset have little to no visual symptoms.  In fact the three leading causes of legal blindness in the United States all start with almost no visual symptoms detectable by the person suffering from the disease.  Those three diseases are Macular Degeneration, Glaucoma and Diabetic Retinopathy. All three of these diseases get more prevalent as people get older.  That is why the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends regular eye exams at more frequent intervals as adults get older.

Macular Degeneration- The leading cause of legal blindness in the United States is a treatable but not curable disease.  Early detection and treatment can significantly improve the long term outcome.  At the earliest stages, often when people are unaware that they have a problem, treating the disease with a very specific vitamin regimen called AREDS 2. These vitamins have been shown to slow the progression of the disease and improve the long term outcomes. When the disease becomes more advanced there is the possibility of bleeding in the retina.  If left untreated that almost always results in severe visual loss.  There are now several medication that when injected into the bleeding eye they can arrest the bleeding and potentially improve the vision.

Glaucoma- The second leading cause of legal blindness in the United States is often called "The silent thief of sight".  In Glaucoma there is often severe damage to the optic nerve before a person recognizes they are having a problem.  Commonly by the time a person notices symptoms 70% of the optic nerve is destroyed.  As of now, once that damage has occurred it cannot be reversed.  This makes diagnosing the disease early absolutely critical to saving your sight.  In most cases (but not all) early detection and treatment can preserve functional vision throughout your lifetime.

Diabetic Retinopathy- Another leading cause of legal blindness that has no visual symptoms until the disease is in its far advanced stages.  Every diabetic should have an annual eye exam to check for signs of retinal disease.  If detected and treated in its early stages the disease can usually be controlled and the vision preserved.

As you can see there are several very strong reasons to get your eyes examined regularly, especially as we age, in order to keep good visual health and function throughout your lifetime.
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Tuesday, 07 December 2021

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