ZocdocAnswersWhy do I need an annual eye exam?

Question

Why do I need an annual eye exam?

It seems like there are many health recommendations that a lot of people don't follow, such as adults getting a yearly well-check or even visiting the dentist every six months for a dental cleaning. While I see the importance of these types of exams for preventative care and early detection of major health issues, I don't see the point of going to the eye doctor every year. As long as I am not having trouble seeing, what is the point of getting a yearly eye exam? I do not want to take time out of my day or spend money for an exam if there is not something that offers real benefits to me.

Answer

This is an excellent question and the best person to discuss this with would be your doctor. You do make a valid point about many of the recommendations. As healthcare professionals, it is our job to take care of everyone. There are many recommendations that might not directly apply to you as we, as a group, attempt to take care of all. A classic example is that of vaccinations, where a broad program directed at all people helps to prevent illnesses that could be devastating to a few. Many other programs are set up in the same, prophylactic, fashion, meaning that a small effort before there is a big problem is used to prevent a bigger deal down the road. The value of an annual eye exam is the ability to see inside of your body in a somewhat unique manner due to the transparency of different parts of the eye. It gives your eye doctor more than just information about your eyes, but can also comment on blood pressure, vascular health (including problems caused by common concerns such as diabetes), and even your brain health. These are just some of the examples. Please speak to your doctor for more information, and to see if you would be able to adjust your recommended schedule based on your health risk.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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