Open Your Eyes: Vision Health Starts With Prevention


It may be an old saying, but it’s nonetheless true: prevention is always the best medicine. We humans are vision-dominant creatures. For the vast majority of us who have our sight and have not lost it due to disease or injury, eyesight informs everything we do, yet we often take our eyes for granted.

One American becomes visually impaired or blind every seven minutes, according to a study published in The Silver Book: Vision Loss Volume II. Clearly, averting a problem with our eyes before it develops or gets worse is crucially important, especially as we get older. If your eyesight is already declining – or even if it’s in top form with 20/20 clarity – an ounce of prevention right now can yield pounds full of clarity for many years to come. Regular exams, accompanied by vision insurance through your association and AMBA, can help you reach that goal.

Getting a Routine Adult Eye Exam

Eye exams by optometrists (who are eye care technicians) and ophthalmologists (medical doctors for the eyes) both check for multiple hazards during a routine check-up, but the ultimate is a comprehensive set of exams that may include more in-depth procedures like a dilated retinal exam or visual field testing.

Here are some of the tests usually performed during a comprehensive exam:

Visual acuity
The traditional chart-reading test; where you cover one eye at a time to get the most precise result for each individual eye.

Eye muscles
This checks that your eyes are aligned and can target and track moving objects.

Field or peripheral test
This test determines what you can see without moving your eyes at all, using only your peripheral vision. Athletes like race car drivers rely heavily on their peripheral vision.

Retinal exam
The doctor uses eye drops to dilate your pupils and a special scope in order to get a good view toward the back of your eye, where the retina, its blood vessels and the optic nerve are all located.

In this exam, the eye doctor flips through various lenses on a large machine. You look at letters to convey clarity so the doctor can estimate your corrective prescription.

Slit lamp
This lights up the front of your eye so the doctor can check for any disorders.

Okay, Exams Are Great, But How Often?

According to a recent article in All About Vision, the American Optometric Association encourages adults 18 to 60 have a comprehensive eye exam every two years, and people 61 and older to have an eye exam every year. This is the minimum recommendation.

Those individuals in higher risk groups should get more frequent exams, including those who have a family history of glaucoma, macular degeneration and other vision diseases; those with diabetes or high blood pressure; people in a profession that demands a lot of one’s vision or one that poses a hazard to eyes (like welding); folks on medicines that potentially have eye-related effects; and people who have experienced eye injuries or eye surgery. Finally, the A.O.A.  recommends that adults who wear contacts get a yearly comprehensive exam.

Clearly, our vision is crucial to all of us and therefore maintaining it as well as possible makes a huge difference. You can do that with vision insurance from your association and AMBA. These plans can help maintain your eye health for years to come. Plus, these plans come at the great groups rates you enjoyed while you were working full-time. Click here to learn more: www.myambabenefits.info


1 – Gary Heiting (O.D.) and Jennifer Palombi (O.D.), Eye Exam Cost and When To Have an Eye Exam. Retrieved from: https://www.allaboutvision.com/eye-exam/preparing.htm

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