When was the last time your family had an eye exam? If you are like most people, you probably don’t think about the quality of eyesight on a daily basis.
What you don’t know, however, is that your family members are growing, and their eyesight is gradually changing. Some of these changes may lead to problems that could be difficult or too expensive to fix.
Therefore, you want to ensure your family goes for eye checkups at least once a year.
Well, here are seven signs you need to schedule regular eye exams for your family.
1. If Diabetes Runs in Your Family
If diabetes, especially type 2, runs in your family, the risk of diabetes and eye problems is quite high.
According to recent research, diabetes can lead to cataracts. Cataracts cloud eye lens with debris, and this causes blurred vision.
Yes, anyone can get cataracts but studies show that people with diabetes or prediabetes tend to get cataracts more often, and the problem gets worse faster.
Studies also show that diabetes can cause pressure build-up inside an eye leading to a condition known as glaucoma. This condition affects the optic nerves and can cause major loss of vision.
It should be noted that some types of glaucoma do not show any symptoms until they’re in advanced stages. This makes glaucoma dangerous because you’ll likely detect it when it’s too late for effective treatment.
This condition makes blood vessels weak, causing blood to leak into the retina.
In its later stages, retinopathy causes serious bleeding, which results in severe vision problems. This condition is said to be the most common cause of permanent blindness in diabetic patients aged 20-74 years.
A recent study found that nearly all people with type 1 diabetes have retinopathy. The study also found out that 60% of people with type 2 diabetes have this condition.
Diabetic Macular Edema
This condition causes cholesterol to leak into the retina, causing the retina to swell. The swelling affects the parts of the retina essential for fine and focused vision.
The good news is that these conditions can be treated if caught early. Taking your family for regular eye checkups can help catch these conditions early and have them fixed.
Eye exams can also detect early signs of diabetes and other health problems, giving you a chance to prevent damage through early treatment and management.
2. If Certain Eye Problems Run in Your Family
Heredity plays a major role in many kinds of diseases and eye problems.
If a close relative is diagnosed with a certain eye problem, it’s advisable to take your family for an eye exam because the problem could have a hereditary link.
Here are types of eye diseases that could be inherited:
Strabismus and Amblyopia
Strabismus, commonly referred to as crossed eye, occurs when eye muscles fail to coordinate. As a result, the brain receives competing visual signals, and this makes the eyes face different directions.
If left untreated, strabismus leads to amblyopia, a condition commonly referred to as lazy eye.
Recent studies show that these two conditions have a hereditary link and could be inherited.
This is another hereditary condition that you should be aware of. Color blindness is also a sex-linked and occurs mostly in men.
These are the most common eye conditions with hereditary links. Eye experts have also discovered a hereditary link in other types of eye problems such as astigmatism and near or farsightedness.
Scheduling regular eye exams for your family will help detect and fix these conditions early enough. You can find more information about this and other topics on our blog.
3. Eye Discharge
If a member of your family has an eye discharge, it’s time to see an eye doctor.
Yes, having small amount eye discharge is normal, but excessive eye discharge is not.
Excessive eye discharge could be a sign of conjunctivitis, corneal ulcer, dry eye, eye herpes, or blocked tear duct.
Regular eye exams for your family give your doctor an opportunity to identify and correct the problem causing eye discharge before it’s too late.
4. Frequent Headaches
If you or a member of your family has frequent headaches, it’s advisable to see an eye specialist.
Eye problems such as astigmatism, farsightedness, presbyopia, and papilloedema can trigger pain in some parts of the head, leading to frequent headaches.
If you or a member of your family has frequent headaches or migraines and it has been long since you scheduled for an eye exam, it’s advisable to see an eye doctor immediately.
5. Unending Vision Disruptions: A Major Sign You Need Eye Exams
If a member of your family complains of persistent vision disruptions, you should seek immediate help from an eye specialist.
You should note that sudden vision obstructions can occur without an accompanying headache or a migraine. If ignored, vision disruptions lead to serious and expensive problems such as retinal holes and glaucoma.
6. Sensitivity to Light
If a member of your family complains of a sudden eye pain associated with light, this could be a sign of corneal abrasion, eye infection, or a problem in the central nervous system.
Scheduling an eye exam will help detect and fight the problem causing the sensitivity.
7. Eye Fatigue and Difficulty Focusing
Many eye problems first cause eye fatigue a difficult focusing.
If you or a family member experience eye fatigue or focus issues, the eye doctor will help rule out any severe eye problems and detect any serious changes in vision quality.
The Bottom Line
If you observe any of these signs, ensure your family members visit a competent eye doctor. Even if you don’t see these signs, you should schedule eye checkups for your family at least once every year.
You may need to plan more frequent visits to your eye specialist if your family has a history of diabetes, eye deceases, or other relevant health conditions that affect the eye.
Don’t put off regular eye checkups for your family.
Visiting the eye doctor regularly will help them understand the quality of their vision, which will, in turn, give them an opportunity to protect their eyes and retain their sight. You can check out our services and schedule examination for your family online.