There's more to an annual eye exam* than updating your glasses or contact lens prescription. Because the eye is one of the few places in the body where blood vessels are clearly visible, doctors can check for common eye diseases that often appear in the eye first, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, and recommend treatment early.
DIABETES AND EYESIGHT
You may be wondering: can an eye exam detect diabetes? The answer is yes. Diabetes causes a person to have high blood sugar levels. These high levels can cause damage to blood vessels, including those in the retina – the area at the back of the eye responsible for light reflection and sight. Continued damage to the retinal tissue will eventually lead to blurred vision or blindness, or diabetic retinopathy, if not caught early.
The American Diabetes Association has reported that your retina can be damaged before any symptoms are evident. Preventative eye care including annual eye exams with an eye care professional are key to prevention, early detection and treatment of diabetic retinopathy.
During an eye exam,* a doctor will use an instrument to shine light on the retina. If your blood vessels are damaged, the doctor may recommend having blood sugar levels tested for diabetes. Seeing symptoms early can lead to life-saving treatments and prevent loss of vision.
People with diabetes are 60% more likely to develop cataracts.** Annual eye exams are essential to maintaining good eyesight.
EYE EXAMS* ARE FOR EVERYONE
Beyond diabetes and high blood pressure, there are other conditions an eye exam can detect, such as thyroid eye disease and malignant eye melanoma. And because some eye diseases don’t immediately affect your vision, it’s important for everyone to have an annual eye exam, regardless of whether or not you need vision correction. According to the American Optometric Association, many eye and vision problems have no obvious signs or symptoms, and therefore, are harder to detect. Practicing preventative eye care along with an annual eye exam can detect, help prevent and diagnose these issues.
Other tips to promote healthy eyes include adding certain nutrients to your diet, including vitamin C and vitamin E, and wearing UV protection on a regular basis.
LensCrafters and an Independent Doctor of Optometry located in or next door to a store can make having an annual eye exam easy. You can schedule an exam* online and find a LensCrafters location that’s convenient to you. Not sure what to expect? Before you go, learn about what your eye exam* will be like.