What is perfect vision, what does this mean? I hear this question all the time from patients and friends. To a lot of people it means they can see “just fine”, or that they have been told they have 20/20 vision. When I ask if they have had a recent eye exam and the answer is “no, I don’t need to, my vision is perfect!” it makes me nervous for two reasons.
First – when someone reports that their vision is “perfect”, it very often is not as good as they think it is. This means that they are really not seeing to their fullest potential. An eye muscle imbalance, focusing issue or uncorrected refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism) may cause anything from mild visual inefficiency to more severe symptoms. Symptoms like fatigue or headache may be occurring but the person suffering from them may not automatically attribute them to vision problems. Other times, people are so busy that they do not even notice a problem with their eyesight until it’s corrected.
Second – Does the person who feels that his vision is “perfect” avoid going in for an eye exam altogether, until he notices a problem? This is the bigger concern. Most people do not realize that diseases of the eye often don’t cause any symptoms at all until many years have passed. “20/20 vision” does not equal healthy eyes! At Mountain View Optometry we conduct eye examinations that always involve screening for diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic eye disease, thyroid disease, eye disease related to high blood pressure among others. Our eye exams also include digital imaging of the eye that helps us record a baseline for future comparison, which helps us pick up small changes at future visits.
If you have had an eye exam, and all is well – congratulations! Let’s talk about ways to keep your eyes healthy. Are there things that you can be doing that maybe you are not aware of, such as vitamins, eye drops, eye exercises, UV protection, “anti-fatigue” glasses, “blue-light” protective glasses for computer users? Things are always changing in the world of eye care. Come in and see us so we can tell you about it.
Play it safe with your vision. Get your eyes checked annually even if you feel your vision is “perfect”!
-Dr. Alanna Adams