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To See or Not to See

Would you be able to put a price on your vision?  We all know how critical our sight is for us to function in our daily lives.  Just as cars go in for regular maintenance and tune-ups, should the eyes also be tuned regularly? Who do we see? Eye doctor or optician?

Automobiles made in factories come standard with a large manual on how to appropriately care for your new car.  The Owner is told when to take their sporty new car into their dealership for an oil change, tire rotation, and brake inspection.  They also know the exact octane number of fuel for when their gas tank empties.

The human body functions in a similar manner.  As one ages, many changes occur on the body and its organs.  Vision and eye health are no exception.  Unfortunately, the human body is not accompanied by a manual when one opens their beautiful eyes to the world for the first time. As they grow older, they learn the advantages to eating healthy and caring for their body.  They see a doctor when things go wrong, but most often not preventatively or routinely.

Taking care of the eyes is a delicate matter.  Prevention is the key to sustaining clear healthy vision.  Regular checkups are needed for young children who are quickly developing, and at risk for lazy eyes and other disorders.  Teens and adults are commonly having prescription changes throughout the years.  Seniors are at much higher risk for cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and so on.  Many of the diseases of the eyes can be controlled and prevented, if not cured.

What is the maintenance schedule for the human eyes?  Healthcare providers recommend that eyes be examined by an eye doctor (optometrist or ophthalmologist) every 1-2 years.  If a situation were to arise where intervention would be required, the sooner the eyes are treated, the better the outcome will be.  For certain cases such as diabetes, glaucoma, and infections, the eyes need to be seen much sooner than 12 months.  Diabetics are required to be seen by an optometrist every 6 months.  For those who dont wear any glasses or contacts, they should to be seen at least every 2 years.

Who to see?  There are 3 different scenarios where you may receive a prescription, but only 2 of them will provide you with a complete overhaul and 21-point inspection of the eyes.  Optometrists and Ophthalmologists provide full scope services where they inspect the eyes inside and out.  Many different machines, instruments, techniques and eyedrops may be used to acquire the information needed in a full eye examination.  Prevention of vision loss is the main focus.

Opticians provide a customer with a free eye test or an eye test at a reduced cost, but this difference in test fee should not validate the risk that is placed on eye health.  Undiagnosed conditions such as glaucoma can silently eat away at ones vision.  When it is caught, it is usually too late to intervene or return lost vision.  A sight test by an optician will provide you with your presciption for your new eyeglasses or contacts, but your eye health is not examined.

An optician is unable to ensure great eyesight for the many years ahead of you.  What price (or savings) would you sell your vision for?