14 May The Importance of Early and Regular Eye Exams
Dr. Erika Morrow, Optometrist and owner at ForSight Unique Eye Care & Eye Wear in Savannah, Georgia, advocates for early eye exams because healthy eyes and good vision play a critical role in how infants and children learn to see. Eye and vision problems in infants can cause developmental delays. It is important to detect conditions early to ensure babies have the opportunity to develop the visual abilities they need to grow and learn. Dr. Morrow strongly encourages parents to have their childs’ eyes examined by an eye doctor before the age of one, at no charge, as part of the InfantSEE® Public Health Program.
After the initial exam, it is recommended that a child should have their eyes examined by an eye doctor at 3 years of age, right before kindergarten, and before they enter 3rd grade. If all prior exams were normal, an eye exam every 1-2 years is recommended from there. A regular eye exam will uncover any vision issues such a need for glasses, ensure the eyes are working/teaming together, and that the eyes are healthy.
It is essential to catch vision issues early and treat accordingly. Nearsightedness (AKA Myopia) is common and increasing in prevalence since children spend less time outdoors and more time on electronic devices. Myopia can be progessive as a child grows taller and can increase the risk of developing other eye conditions including glaucoma and retinal detachment. There are new advancements in Myopia Control which are proven to slow the progression of the condition and Dr. Morrow is an expert in this field.
Adults under the age of 50 should have an exam at least every 2 years, but 1 year is recommended. Over the age of 50, Dr. Morrow recommends every year. The exam will ensure you’re seeing your very best but most importantly that your eyes are healthy. At ForSight Unique Eye Care & Eye Wear, Dr. Morrow has the technology to diagnose, treat, and manage most all eye conditions and she has a network of surgeons she co-manages with for surgical consult.
Many systemic conditions can cause eye problems including; Sleep apnea, Vitamin Deficiency, High Blood Pressure, Cholesterol imbalance, Diabetes, All forms of Arthritis, Auto-immune Disease, Thyroid Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Sinusitis, among many other not-so-common conditions such as brain tumors. The eye conditions and problems that can arise from systemic conditions can be as simple as a chronic dry eye, but can be as severe as problems resulting in blindness. It is essential to tell your eye doctor about all of your systemic conditions AND the medication you take for them.
Medications we use to treat our systemic conditions can also cause side effects in the eyes. Some common medications that are known to have affect the eyes are; NSAIDs, Flonase/Nasacort, Anti-histamines, Plaquenil, and Tamoxifen. It is important to bring a list of medications to your eye exam.
Now that Spring is almost here, we will be outside gardening and doing yardwork before you know it. Not only can outdoor plants cause eye allergies, which are best treated by an eye doctor, but some in particular can cause severe vision loss, discomfort, light sensitivity, redness, and watering. The most common culprit of this “pink eye,” that is often times misdiagnosed, is Milkweed (AKA butterfly plant). With that said, when gardening or doing yard work, wear your eye protection, do not rub your eyes, and always wash your hands thoroughly when you are done.
Erika Morrow, M.S, O.D. is the owner of ForSight Unique Eye Care & Eye Wear in Savannah. At ForSight we pride ourselves on patient experience from the moment you begin scheduling at our office to the day we dispense your customized eye wear. You are our number one priority, every single day. We want you to value your eyes the same way we do.