July 23, 2021
By: Jhanae Winter
Healthy vision is imperative to those who rely on their eyes to explore the world around them, but it can also be taken for granted. Many do not have 20/20 vision and their eyes are being affected through various facets of their lives.
Along with external damages to the eyes, genetics can play an even greater factor in one’s eyesight.
Getting your eyes tested at an early age can show any signs of abnormality or correct minor issues before they get out of control. It can not be stressed enough that no one should prolong any symptoms they may experience or damage to the eye, as maintaining vision is the top priority.
We spoke with Ophthalmologist and Cornea, Lens and Refractive Surgery Consultant, Dr Tarun Arora to get more insight on the steps Bahamians should be taking for better eye health.
Dr Arora gave Bahamaslocal.com a few general guidelines as to how early and frequently Bahamians should get their eyes tested. It is as follows:
Children 3 years and younger
Your child's pediatrician will likely check your child's eyes for healthy eye development and look for the most common childhood eye problems — lazy eye, cross-eyes or misaligned eyes. A more comprehensive eye exam between the ages of 3 and 5 will look for problems with vision and eye alignment.
School-age children and adolescents
Have your child's vision checked before he or she enters kindergarten. Your child's doctor can recommend how frequent eye exams should be after that.
In general, if you are healthy and you have no symptoms of vision problems, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends having a complete eye exam at age 40, when some vision changes and eye diseases are likely to start. Based on the results of your screening, your eye doctor can recommend how often you should have future eye exams.
If you're 60 or older, have your eyes checked every year or two. Have your eyes checked more often if you:
• Wear glasses or contact lenses
• Have a family history of eye disease or loss of vision
• Have a chronic disease that puts you at greater risk of eye disease, such as diabetes or hypertension
• Take medications that have serious eye side effects
Looking after your eyes is just as
important as looking after the
rest of your body.
For some, there have been times when costumers were prescribed the wrong strength for glasses or contacts. Getting tested as often as one needs or speaking with an ophthalmologist/ optometrist, can also correct overlooked human error issues that can occur and ensure the best suitable eyewear.
Some studies prove that about 50 percent of sight loss is preventable if the proper testings, screenings and treatments were done. Waiting until it's too late can result in surgery being the only solution for some eye injuries or diseases.
“For some conditions such as cataract (whitening of the lens) or progressive pterygium (membrane over the eye), surgical management is the only solution. Diseases like diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma can be managed without surgery if detected early,” Dr Arora said.
As various things can affect eyesight, communicable diseases such as Diabetes mentioned before, can affect one’s vision. Those with this disease, it is imperative for them to have their eyes tested and keep track of their vision.
Dr Arora said anyone with diabetes may experience the following:
• Your Night Vision Has Changed - Common symptoms include seeing halos around
lights and difficulty distinguishing objects at night
• Discharge or Infection
• Frequent Headaches
• Vision Disruptions - include phenomena such as auras, black spots, or “floaters” that seem to move across your eyes and can indicate a serious eye issue. If things like this appear suddenly, whether accompanied by a headache or not, you may want to seek immediate medical attention from an eye doctor
• Chronic Eye Fatigue
• Light Sensitivity
• Difficulty Focusing
Having regular eye exams is an extremely important part of obtaining an early diagnosis of associated eye conditions.
If anyone is experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is crucial that they visit an ophthalmologist/ optometrist or for other issues a Retina specialist may be best, Dr Arora suggests.
At Bahamas Vision Centre they have a specialised and skillful team of ophthalmologists and state of the art technology to manage all forms of eye conditions.
Find them at Harbour Bay Shopping Plaza for your next eye test!