A recent study published in the July issue of the journal Optometry and Vision Science suggests that routine eye exams can detect unknown eye issues, especially in older adults. The study, led by Elizabeth Irving of the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, included data on almost 6,400 patients who visited a university eye clinic over a year.
Over 50 percent of patients with no symptoms or eye problems got new prescriptions or treatment changes after their eye exams. Furthermore, 16 percent of patients were diagnosed with a new eye condition and 31 percent had a change in their ongoing care. The age group that had the most change was in individuals aged 65 and older. Only 8 percent of children had changes resulting from their eye exam, but 78 percent of older adults had changes. This could be due to the fact that seniors are more likely to have more time pass between their comprehensive eye exams.
“Often people fail to see the need for symptomless eye examinations, but our authors make the case that there are numerous sound reasons for routine and regular eye exams,” Dr. Anthony Adams, the journal’s associate editor, said in a journal news release.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends comprehensive eye exams to help prevent vision loss. How often you should have your eyes examined depends on age, medical history and recommendation of your ophthalmologist. If you have a family history of eye disease or if you have a condition like cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma or macular degeneration, you should have a dilated eye exam more frequently (Source: US News).