A routine eye exam can be compared to going in for your annual physical with your family doctor. We all know we should be doing it, but it’s hard to make the time for it when nothing is bothering us. The keypoint is that most people don’t realize a lot of diseases have NO symptoms,especially at the earlier stages when detecting and treating gives the patient the best prognosis. According to Canadian National Institution for the Blind, every 12 minutes, someone in Canada begins to lose their eyesight. But did you know that 75 per cent of vision loss can be prevented? If you ask any optometrist, all of us will have lists of cases where a disease was diagnosed even though patients thought everything was fine.
A recent case that comes to mind… a middle-aged woman camein for a routine exam with no specific problems, and she remembered she was told she had 20/20 vision several years ago. She started a new job with benefits and decided to get her eyes checked. She told me her health was good, although she hadn’t seen her family doctor in a couple of years. When I dilated her eyes and looked at her retina, she had signs of early diabetic retinopathy (small hemorrhages in the retina). She was then referred to her family doctor where it was confirmed she had diabetes. Another common eye disease with no symptoms in early stages is glaucoma. Check out this clip for Global TV about a photographer who didn’t realize he had glaucoma until it was too late:
The list goes on with different problems that can be caught with routine check-ups, so please make an appointment to see your family doctor, dentist, and eye doctor soon!