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The Real Value of an Eye Exam

The Real Value of an Eye Exam
Many eye problems present without symptoms or signs that might alert a patient that something is wrong. Many systemic disorders—some of them serious—have ocular findings without a patient being at all aware that anything is amiss.
I can easily recall times when a routine eye exam turned into a sight-saving or even life-saving intervention. Optometrists and ophthalmo…logists know that this isn’t an occasional occurrence; it is surprisingly common. For that reason, routine eye exams are often not routine.
Some of you may have heard that there is now an online eye exam concept being developed. When I first heard of it, I thought it was yet another harebrained scheme, but it turns out it’s well-funded with seed money from VCs who I would have thought would have known better. This online service is being promoted as a means to provide eyeglass and contact lens prescriptions without face-to-face doctor interaction. The importance of looking into someone’s eyes and talking to them before looking at their eyes is very important. The 2 main causes of blindness in the U.S. are diabetes and macular degeneration. These are detected with the eye health exam. Questions about family history and lifestyle are an important part of the equation. Thorough testing, counseling, and treatments are more successful the earlier they begin. High blood pressure, high cholesterol and many diseases can be detected with the eye health exam because the eye is the only place in the body where the blood vessels and nerves can be observed without cutting. Yes, eye disease is more common the older we get but it is often more severe and serious in younger people. The eye health exam is the most valuable part of the eye exam.
While I am all for incorporating technology into our lives current technology does not yet support comprehensive online eye examinations.
It’s springtime! Kids are getting about school ending. Time for re-growth. We are emerging outdoors and fertilizing our lawns, planting flowers and enjoying the sun. We all enjoy the re-birth of plants, that is until the pollen count soars, and rain and snow increase mold, and that darn ragweed. Then we start sneezing and the itchy watery eyes. This is when contact lenses feel like they are rocks in your eyes with itching powder. We have lots of options to reduce seasonel discomfort. My personel favorite is living in a plastic bubble. I have found that people don’t feel comfortable around you, weird, actually there are  better alternatives. Cold compresses relieve itching, wetting drops wash out airborn allergens, and sooth. There are both over the counter and prescription allergy drops. Often a combination is the most beneficial. Dr. Nunn and Dr. Himel can give you the best advice for your allergy eyes. Please call for an appointment or with questions. Now get outside and have fun!

March is Save Your Vision Month. We will be putting together a series of blogs focused on ways to preserve your eyesight and to protect your vision.

Some of the the advice is very simple and elementary. Other aspects will go deeper and explore new advances and ways to help our most precious sense. Quiz: What is the leading cause of blindness in the U.S.? The answer is macular degeneration. The second leading cause of blindness is diabetes. Both of these conditions have genetic components, however lifestyle choices play a major role in prevention of sight loss.

Here are a few simple things you can do to save your vision now. 1. Schedule yearly comprehensive eye exams. 2. Protect your eyes from harmful U.V. rays by wearing quality sunglasses. 3. Take breaks from digital devices. 4. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Foods high in anti-oxidants are great for the eyes. and 5. Don’t over wear your contact lenses.

You may find this hard to believe but the next blog will be a little more exciting. Look for this blog on our Facebook page and our web sight.