Eye care is still among the least priorities of Filipinos.
A lot of people think that the only solution to their blurry vision is eyeglasses, while some believe that their eye condition will resolve on its own. There are also people who equate having clear vision with healthy vision; who think complete eye checkups are an unnecessary expense; and who fear losing their vision or spending an extra for either a new pair of glasses or for their treatment.
But when it comes to vision, having healthy eyes takes more than just having 20/20 vision. A lot of sight-threatening eye conditions don’t have early warning signs, and usually, when you start experiencing symptoms, your condition has progressed and no treatment can reverse the damage it has caused. This is why yearly complete eye checkups are necessary – they ensure that your eyes are healthy.
Vision screening vs. complete eye checkup
Vision screenings are basic eye tests that check if you have changes in eye grade or prescription. However, these cannot diagnose underlying eye conditions. That’s why vision screenings are not a substitute for complete eye checkups.
Complete eye checkups involve a series of tests to evaluate your eye’s overall condition. These are aimed at detecting eye diseases at an early stage, when they’re more easily treatable. These can also help detect other major health problems that affect vision like diabetes, hypertension, or thyroid disease; determine changes in eye grade; and prevent learning-related vision problems for children.
How are complete eye checkups done?
Complete eye checkups have two (2) crucial steps – checking your vision and checking for eye diseases.
After taking your medical and eye history, an optometrist will check your vision. They will measure how clearly you see, check if you need to get or update your eyeglasses, and determine the lens prescription that will provide you with the clearest and most comfortable vision.
An ophthalmologist will then examine various parts of your eyes, including your eyelids, eyelashes, cornea (the clear layer that covers the front portion of your eye), natural lens, and retina. They will check if there are any abnormalities or if you have signs of eye problems, such as cataract, glaucoma, or detached retina.
Should you wait until you get a complete eye checkup?
Regardless of your age or physical health, it is recommended that you undergo a complete eye checkup. Even kids should have it at 6 months, age 3 and before they start going to school. But it is especially important for children who:
- Have a history of premature birth
- Have developmental delays
- Have turned or crossed eyes
For adults, you are advised to get checked every year if you:
- Wear eyeglasses
- Are over 40 years old
- Have lifestyle-related diseases (diabetes, hypertension, etc)
- Have a family history of eye problems (cataracts, glaucoma, etc)
- Have had an eye injury o eye surgery
- Have been taking medications with eye side effects (steroids, etc.)
If you’ve been putting off your visit to your eye doctor, or you’re experiencing changes in vision (blurry or double vision), eye pain, excessive tearing and eye redness, this may be the sign you book for a complete eye checkup today.