Why bother having routine eye tests?

When we are young, we tend to think we are immortal... well I did anyway. Unfortunately sometimes the mind doesn't realize what is going on with the body. For my patients over 50, they often feel young still and live very busy active lives, but sometimes their eyes betray them.

Routine eye tests look for the big 3 ageing diseases of the eye: cataract, age related macular degeneration and glaucoma. Of these, glaucoma is probably the most frightening and it can progress to a severe level before you are aware of it affecting your vision. This is because glaucoma causes loss of your peripheral vision first before you lose your central vision. By the time it affects your central vision, you have lost most of your optic nerve and treatment is not as effective.

The only way to diagnose glaucoma earlier is to see your optometrist or eye surgeon. If treated early, eye drops to lower the eye pressure can be quite effective at slowing the rate of loss. If you have a family history of an eye disease or are over 40, you should definitely be having routine eye tests every year to check for the big 3.

After all, if you are going to live till 120, you want your eyes in good shape :)

* Information on this blog is general in nature and should not be taken as professional medical advice or as a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional.

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