When you visit your optician for an eye exam, they use the latest technology to examine your eyes and look for any signs of conditions that may impair your vision, such as glaucoma or macular degeneration. Early detection of these eye conditions helps reduce the risk of severe vision impairment and other health complications.
Vision Loss Due to Glaucoma
Visiting a local eye care centre for an exam allows professional opticians to detect problems early. They may even detect issues before you notice any symptoms, which is often the case with open-angle glaucoma.
Open-angle glaucoma tends to sneak up on patients, as there are typically no symptoms until major vision loss has already occurred. This condition causes drainage canals in the eyes to clog, increasing eye pressure and potentially causing damage to the optic nerve, resulting in blurry vision or loss of vision.
Acute angle-closure glaucoma closes the angle where the iris and cornea meet. This also increases eye pressure and may cause optic nerve damage. Unlike open-angle glaucoma, this condition does often result in noticeable symptoms. Patients may experience blurred vision or sudden vision loss, along with eye or head pain.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration is an eye problem that is more common with age. A part of the retina in the eye called the macula becomes damaged and causes loss of central vision. This vision loss applies to both close and far objects, while the peripheral vision is often unchanged.
The symptoms of macular degeneration progress slowly, allowing for early detection. The first symptoms of macular degeneration often include visual distortions or reduce central vision. You may need more light when reading or find it difficult to adapt to lower light levels.
Posterior Vitreous Detachment
Vitreous gel is a gel located near the back of the eye and the optic nerve. The gel covers this area of the retina and may slowly pull away as you age. Vitreous detachment may cause permanent loss of vision if the problem is not treated. Tears in the retina and damage to the optic nerve are the biggest threats.
The most common sign of vitreous detachment is the presence of dark spots that move around in your vision. The symptoms of this eye condition are not always easily detected. In fact, some patients may never experience symptoms, which is why regular eye exams are essential.
Besides these eye conditions, an optician also helps detect gradual changes to your vision. Regular exams help ensure you have the right prescription for your eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Eye doctors can also help uncover various health conditions. During an eye exam, your doctor may notice visual clues indicating the early signs of dementia, diabetes, high-blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and arthritis. Schedule an exam today with your local optician to increase the chances of early detection.