Save vision with regular checkups

Maj. Michael Stevens
Wiesbaden Army Health Clinic

The Wiesbaden Army Health Clinic optometry clinic offers vision and ocular health screenings and comprehensive exams, which can detect complications from conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol.

Did you know your optometrist could save your life? Millions of people have problems with their vision every year. Some of these problems can cause permanent vision loss and even blindness, while others are common problems that can be easily corrected with glasses or a proper contact lens fitting.

The eye care professionals at the Wiesbaden Army Health Clinic optometry clinic perform vision and ocular health screenings and comprehensive exams, which can detect complications from conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol, to name a few examples. These procedures also assist in the diagnosis of serious, and potentially fatal conditions such as neuromuscular disease, stroke and intracranial tumors.

Comprehensive dilated exam
A comprehensive exam including the dilation of a patient’s eyes is a painless procedure in which the optometrist examines the eyes to look for common vision problems and eye diseases, many of which have no early detectable warning signs. A dilated eye exam is the only way to detect many common eye diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic retinal disease and age-related macular degeneration in their early stages.
Throughout the month, the optometry clinic staff will be reminding everyone how important it is to schedule regular comprehensive eye examinations and return for annual follow-up exams if there may be a personal history of ocular trauma, surgery or Family history of ocular and visual complications.
Routine eye examinations are not just important for active duty service members but also for their dependents. Our optometry clinic provides comprehensive eye exams to our military retirees and their dependents enrolled in the clinic, on a space available schedule.

When should eye exams begin?
As early as necessary. Depending on a child’s age, there are several ways to check vision. Parents should collaborate with their pediatrician to observe their newborn’s eyes with a general assessment of their eye alignment. Suspicious eye turning can be referred to the optometry department for a screening as early as 2 months of age.
Although starting at birth a baby’s eyes should be examined for possible signs of congenital eye problems by the pediatrician. While only four out of 100 children have amblyopia, also known as a lazy eye, the only way for it to be caught early is with a thorough eye examination. Early detection of amblyopia can help prevent future permanent vision loss. In honor of “Save Your Vision Month,” schedule your children’s first and routine eye exams today.

“I have never had a comprehensive eye exam”
As we age, the likelihood of developing certain eye conditions and diseases increases. The decreasing ability to focus at close range is known as presbyopia, a condition normally seen in people over 40. As we age, especially in our 60s, the natural lens of the eye also begins to get cloudy, a condition called a cataract.
With that change, our need for increased light and better contrast changes, as well. In addition, as we age, the risk of developing dry eye syndrome, macular degeneration and cataracts is much greater. It is never too late to get your comprehensive eye and vision exam at the WAHC optometry clinic.