Why should I get my eyes tested every year?

Our eyes are a vital organ for us to have a wholesome life. We may take our ability to see for granted but what seems like a simple process actually involves an array of highly complicated processes from light being bent and focused onto our retinas where the light rays are decoded by the photoreceptor cells and transferred via the optic nerve through various channels till it is finally processed at the visual cortex located at the back of our brains.

However, when we look at our eyes in the mirror, all we see is the anterior part of our eye. We assume that as long as everything looks ‘normal’ in the mirror, our eyes are in excellent shape. What we do not realise is that most vision threatening diseases do not have obvious signs or symptoms at the initial stage where it is the easiest to treat with the best prognosis. There is no such thing as an eye transplant. However, especially in the developed world, most cases of blindness can be prevented. So, whether you’re young or old, physically healthy or not, you need an eye examination done annually.

Below is the frequency of eye examination as recommended by the Optometrists & Opticians Board of Singapore:

   

*So who is at risk?

  • Anyone with diabetes, hypertension or personal/ family history of ocular disease or with clinical findings that include their potential risk
  • Anyone working in occupations that are highly demanding or hazardous on one’s vision
    (E.g. workers in electronic or jewellery manufacturing, handling laser equipment etc)
  • Anyone taking medication with ocular side effects
  • Anyone wearing contact lenses

So, why do contact lens wearers need an annual eye examination if their vision is good and their eyes feel healthy?

Environmental & systemic conditions along with contact lens wear & hygiene habits may pose a threat to the health of the anterior eye without noticeable symptoms. Your prescription could have changed in the last 12 months or the fitting of your contact lenses could have changed although the latter is less likely to occur.

Why do children need to get their eyes tested so frequently?

Children’s eyes are going through a vital stage of development that plays a crucial role in their long term vision. They need the most delicate care. On top of that, their vision plays an important role in their ability to learn. Simply, if they can’t see well, they can’t learn well. They may not show obvious signs of poor vision or complain about it because they may not know what ‘normal’ vision is.

Your eyes are the windows to your soul. They are the reason why you can visually appreciate the beauty around you. You are only born with a pair of these amazing organs. Please take good care of them and get them tested every year.

Stay Healthy & Stay Happy!