You learn from an early age that you are supposed to get an eye exam every year. If your eyes are good, and you do not need prescription glasses, you may be inclined to skip annual eye exams for a long time. (You are not supposed to; rather, you choose to skip the exams, or you forget to do them.) However, after age 40, it becomes increasingly more important to have an annual eye exam. Here's why.
People as Young as 40 May Need Bifocals
Bifocals may creep up on you a lot faster than you would expect. Presbyopia, the condition that occurs with the aging eyes' inability to focus on near objects, begins in this stage of life. It is the number one condition that causes people to need bifocals. There is a good chance that this will progress and that your near-vision will get worse. The only way to know for sure is to visit your eye doctor.
Macular Degeneration Can Begin in Your Late 40's and Early 50's
Most eye doctors would agree that macular degeneration is obvious in people who are over 60, but the disease takes some time to creep up on those who end up having it. In your very late 40's and into your 50's, this nefarious, vision-robbing condition takes its time to sneak up on you. If you are seeing an eye doctor for annual eye exams, your eye doctor can catch it early, and hopefully, stop or reverse it.
Diabetes and Hypertension Are Often Diagnosed from an Eye Exam
It sounds too bizarre to be true, but your eye doctor will often spot signs of diabetes and hypertension in your eyes before your family doctor will catch it. In both cases, the eye doctor will notice enlarged blood vessels caused by hypertension and small blood vessels that burst because of diabetes. He or she may ask you questions about your last physical exam, and whether or not your family doctor mentioned tests for either of these conditions.
Your eye doctor may even suggest that you visit your family doctor soon to rule out these conditions so that he/she (your eye doctor) can take a closer look at what might be causing changes in the blood vessels in your eyes. All of these health issues begin in your 40's, and sometimes earlier if you are carrying a lot of extra weight. Left untreated, you can go blind from diabetes and hypertension.
For more information, contact a company like Cripe Stephens & Stickel.