Optometrist Evan Kaufman, OD, compares vision to children growing: “If you see the child every day, you don’t see them grow an inch or two inches or three inches,” he says. “But if you see them at six months or once a year, they grow like weeds.”
That’s why he recommends getting your eyes checked once a year. If your vision is gradually getting worse, you might not notice. But your eye doctor will.
Annual eye exams are especially important if you have diabetes, a major cause of blindness in adults over 40. Even if your vision seems fine, the optometrist or ophthalmologist can look for early signs of problems, including cataracts and diabetic retinopathy.
Is Bad Vision Genetic?
You can inherit nearsightedness (trouble seeing objects that are farther away) or farsightedness. But these traits come from more than one gene. So if your mom needed glasses when she was 10, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will.
Your environment is also important: If you sit in front of a computer all day, then you have different vision needs than someone who works in construction. That’s why Kaufman spends a lot of time asking patients about their daily activities and health.
In this week’s podcast, Kaufman discusses what to expect at your eye exam. UVA’s eye care services include:
- One of only five neuro-ophthalmologists in Virginia, who can treat optic nerve conditions, brain tumors and other neurological problems that impact the eyes
- Diagnostic electroretinogram, or ERG, which diagnoses diseases of the retina
- A specialty contact lenses clinic
Listen to the podcast: