Vision and eye health problems affect many people in the West Des Moines area, from children to the elderly. That's why it is important to start seeing an eye doctor regularly at a young age if possible. But even if you haven't grown up with regular visits to an optometrist, you're still likely to find that an eye exam can reveal a lot. Our staff at Advanced Eyecare Center wants you to know what to expect during an eye examination.
What Happens During an Eye Exam?
Most people know that seeing an eye doctor is something to do when they want to verify their eyeglasses prescription, but there is actually much more that goes into an eye exam. At Advanced Eyecare Center, vision testing is definitely an important part of our comprehensive eye exam, but there is much more that is covered during both adult and pediatric eye exams.
An exam starts with our optometrist, Dr. Wendianne Wilson asking questions about your medical history, including medications. She'll inquire if you think that things are looking more blurry, and touch on your family health history because your eyes connect to more than your vision. While it is great to be able to correct your vision to 20/20 or better, if possible, our exams also reveal potential serious conditions for some people, such as diabetic retinopathy, hypertension, glaucoma, and cataracts.
How Soon to Kids Need an Eye Exam?
Many people who have experience with vision problems that begin in childhood may recall being referred to an eye doctor by a school nurse when they report headaches or having trouble seeing the board. However, pediatric eye exams should begin much earlier. Some experts suggest the first exam at six months old. If there are no problems, another exam should be given around age three, and again before starting first grade. Once kids are in school, exams every other year are usually sufficient, unless there is a change in vision.
If a problem does arise at any point during a pediatric eye exam, it is important to try to correct it as quickly and efficiently as possible. Often children who are very young experience problems with eye teaming, having both eyes follow a single object at the same time. A condition called strabismus, or crossed eyes sometimes develops and can result in one eye being disproportionately stronger than the other. If the child favors the "good" eye too much, they may develop a lazy eye. When this is discovered early, an eye doctor can intervene and prevent problems from occurring later.
Regardless of whether you have kept up on regular eye exams, or if you or your child have a history of vision problems, it is never too late to start paying closer attention to your vision and eye health. To learn more, or to schedule an eye exam, contact us at Advanced Eyecare Center in Urbandale, IA at 515-727-6340.