“SEE CLEARLY – CHECK YEARLY”
Protecting Your Vision
Approximately 100,000 new cases of blindness could have been prevented through timely detection and treatment this year. The American Academy of Optometry recommends comprehensive eye exams starting at age three. Regular eye exams not only allow your optometrist to improve the quality of your vision by making changes to your glasses or contact lens prescription, it gives them the opportunity to determine the overall health of your eyes. Serious eye disease can occur at any age and can affect either gender or any ethnic group.
- Small children can develop eye conditions and diseases that, unless treated early, can result in permanent loss of vision.
- Young adults can develop eye problems from extensive work at the computer.
- Pregnant women are at an elevated risk of developing certain eye diseases.
- Middle-aged adults (40+) can develop a number of degenerative eye conditions associated with aging of the eye.
- Seniors (55+) are the most at-risk group for eye-threatening diseases.
The Sneak Thief of Sight
Eye disorders can become sight threatening without symptoms. In the early stages of some eye diseases, the brain compensates for the loss of vision until it is too late. Fortunately, Dr. Saunders has the ability to detect the early stages of many eye diseases through sophisticated diagnostic technology. If detected early, most sight threatening eye diseases can be prevented, controlled, and even cured.
A View of Your Overall Health
Optometrist are often the very first primary care doctor to detect many general health conditions. Looking through the clear window of the cornea, Dr. Saunders can detect signs of high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, high cholesterol, and stroke.
Seeing clearly involves more than correcting your vision with the right prescription. Dr. Saunders will be looking for the early warning signs of a number of diseases such as:
Diabetic Retinopathy, a disease that can be detected by examining the condition of the blood vessels on the retina. A leaking blood vessel will not necessarily be observed by the patient but is easily detected in a retinal exam.
Cataracts, a progressive clouding of the clear lens inside the eye, which, left untreated, will cause blindness.
Macular Degeneration, an age-related condition of the macula. The macula is the area of the retina responsible for seeing fine detail when reading or looking straight ahead. Left untreated, this condition causes loss of central vision.
Glaucoma, a disease that affects over four million people. Unfortunately most of them don’t even know they have it. Glaucoma is most commonly caused when the fluid inside the eye cannot drain properly, or from the production of too much fluid. This causes pressure to build inside the eye. If left untreated, the pressure can cause permanent damage to the optic nerve.
Amblyopia, or “lazy eye,” is a condition that is usually detected in young children. If not treated, amblyopia can cause permanent loss of vision.
It is important to become as educated about your eyes as possible. Use your annual exam to as questions about the health and wellness of your eyes. The more knowledgable you are about your eyes and eye diseases, the more likely you will be able to protect the vision of yourself and your family throughout your lifetime. Sight is a precious gift, so do not take it for granted.