(BPT) - We optimize everything — sleep, exercise, nutrition — why not our vision? You may not even realize how much clearer, brighter and more vibrant the world can be until you visit your eye doctor. Whether you already wear glasses or contact lenses or are simply far overdue for an eye exam, it’s time to take stock of what’s right in front of your eyes.
As many of us spend more time in front of screens, eye health and associated concerns are rising in importance. Physicians like Luis Rojas, O.D., co-founder of DeNovo Eye, are increasingly emphasizing the need for regular eye exams to improve your overall quality of life. “Our industry has made great advancements over the past few years to where we now understand the daily life of a patient is variable focused. We can shed insight on health issues affecting the patient while offering cutting-edge eye technology.”
When listening to her patients mention their problems with fatigue, dry eyes or headaches, Patricia Poma-Nowinski, O.D., owner of Birmingham Vision Care, tells her patients they don’t have to live like this anymore. The answer may be contact lenses — and gone are the days when they weren’t for everyone.
“Contact lenses are constantly being improved to better our patients’ lives. You don’t have to suffer anymore. So talk to your eye doctor because contact lenses can offer so many solutions. No matter your symptoms, talking to your doctor will help you find the right contact lenses for your lifestyle.”
Seeing an eye doctor is about more than just picking the right contact lens for your needs or getting your prescription right. Eye doctors can identify early warning signs of more than 270 systemic and chronic diseases including diabetes, high blood pressure, autoimmune diseases and cancers. Below are some need-to-know tips and reminders for making eye visits a mainstay in your personal healthcare plan.
Get the most out of your visit to the eye doctor
After you’ve made your appointment (and kudos for taking this important first step), it’s imperative that you properly prepare for your eye exam. Dr. Poma-Nowinski recommends preparing to share your concerns ahead of time. “During the exam, I try to get a sense of the patient’s lifestyle to not only get to know my patients but also it helps me to pinpoint specific areas I should focus on or even help with product recommendations.”
Before your exam, take a minute to run through the following checklist:
Are contact lenses for you?
Many don’t realize how much contact lenses have evolved in the last decade. Whether you need multifocal lenses, have astigmatism or even light sensitivity, contact lenses can make a major impact on your vision quality. Dr. Rojas stresses the impact that contact lenses, like ACUVUE® products, have made for patients. “With the technological advancements in contact lenses, things have changed even just in the past five years so we can offer relief and lifestyle ease for our patients.”
The field is growing. ACUVUE®, for example, has pioneered improvements in supporting those with astigmatism, an imperfection in the curvature of the eye's surface which causes blurry vision, and others who didn’t previously have the option to request contact lenses. After the age of 40 you may find that it is time for bifocals or “readers” — but with multifocal contact lenses, glasses aren’t necessary. The field continues to evolve and soon people with eye allergies or people seeking relief from staring at digital screens all day will have contact lenses made just for them.
Whatever lens type you need, consider daily disposables to maximize comfort and minimize potential exposure to contaminants. This way you can have a fresh, clean lens in your eye every morning!
The right time to schedule your eye exam
So, when should you get an eye exam? Lifestyle changes have a serious impact on our eye health. “Lack of sleep, more stress, or eye strain can actually impact your prescription,” says Dr. Rojas. Which is why receiving your eye exam once a year is the standard and so critical.
And parents, don’t forget your kids! The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends that children between the ages of 3 and 5 should have a thorough, in-person optometric eye examination. Seeing an eye doctor at a young age can possibly catch a disease that is affecting millions of children around the world. Myopia, sometimes called ‘nearsightedness,’ is a chronic and progressive disease that poses the biggest eye health threat of the 21st Century. Contacts are now available, like ACUVUE® Abiliti Therapeutic Lenses for Myopia Management, to specifically combat these issues.
Visiting your eye doctor regularly is the first step to set your sights on better vision and access the latest in eye tech. Find an eye care professional near you by visiting ACUVUE.com.