The five human senses of sight, touch, smell, taste, and hearing are essential tools that help us navigate and interpret the world around us. Our eyesight, however, truly stands out among our senses.

In fact, according to clinical research, 80-85% of everything we learn, perceive, and understand comes through our eyes. It’s no wonder, then, that health professionals put an emphasis on vision screenings. No matter what stage of life you’re in, it’s important to schedule annual eye exams and be vigilant about your eye health.

In this blog, the highly skilled providers at the Tayani Institute share their thoughts on the importance of supporting your vision, which is an especially timely discussion as we celebrate May being Healthy Vision Month.

Eye health is more than getting glasses or contacts

The first thing we need to address when unpacking this important topic is that when it comes to your eye health, vision is about so much more than getting eyeglasses, contact lenses, or LASIK® surgery to see better.

Seeing clearly is a complex process. From the time that light first enters the eye to the point that the image travels to the optic nerve and finally to the brain, everything needs to work together flawlessly. If any part of the process goes wrong, this can lead to a variety of vision problems.

Many eye diseases have no symptoms

Even if you have perfect vision, it’s important to get regular checkups to monitor the health of your eyes. Regular checkups are important, because many eye diseases don’t necessarily have dramatic symptoms, so problems can go unnoticed.

Diagnosing certain eye diseases, such as glaucoma or cataracts, can often mean the difference between retaining vision and experiencing permanent vision loss.

Regular dilated eye exams are essential

One of the best ways to stay on top of your eye health is to get periodic dilated eye exams. For most people, scheduling a dilated eye exam every two years is sufficient to stay on top of any changes.

During a dilated eye exam, your provider performs a variety of tests, such as a visual acuity test, a peripheral vision test, and a tonometry test, which measures the pressure in your eyes. All of these tests can help tell the story of your eye health.

And, as part of your exam, your provider dilates your eyes to see inside them. Your provider dilates them by putting drops in them. This allows your provider to view the retinas and behind your eyes to the optic nerve. Through this deep dive, your provider can detect signs of eye damage, which may indicate issues, such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma.

Don’t underestimate diabetes

If you have a family history of certain conditions, such as glaucoma or diabetes, your eye doctor may recommend more frequent dilated eye exams. Diabetes is a particular threat to vision.

Having diabetes puts you at a higher risk for developing vision-threatening conditions, such as diabetic retinopathy, which can progress to diabetic macular edema and vision loss. It’s therefore important to undergo diabetic eye exams regularly to catch issues as early as possible.

To stay on top of your eye health, trust the experts at Tayani Institute. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone today.

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