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Why eye examinations should be a part of your routine health check

Some health checks are like clockwork. Whether it be updating your prescription medication or getting your teeth cleaned yearly - there are some appointments we don’t think twice about scheduling.

So why is it that some people only see an optometrist if something doesn’t feel right? Shouldn’t we also be having routine checkups for something as important as our eye health?

The health checks we’re all getting

Regular health checks are important for everyone, even if you don’t have any major health concerns. A visit to your general practitioner or dentist, for example, may help prevent a number of health problems from occurring as you get older, meaning you can keep living a long and happy life.

The most common and recommended regular health checks include reviewing your health in relation to alcohol, dental care, diet, skin, smoking and weight. These checks are quite often built into our lives, for example, visiting the dentist twice a year and having a chuckle when the receptionist asks if you’re free in six months on Wednesday at 10am.

Something similar should go for eye examinations, but concerningly it doesn’t!

Optometry Australia’s 2020 Vision Index Report revealed that 87 per cent  of people have had their eyes examined by an optometrist in their lifetime, however only 26 per cent of these people have had a follow up appointment in the past five years.

This highlights that we tend to let our eye health lapse, rather than booking periodical appointments.

Where does eye health fit in?

With a portion of of your eye test typically bulk billed to Medicare and appointments usually taking less than an hour to complete - there’s really no reason why the optometrist shouldn’t be included in routine checkups.

Unlike other parts of our bodies, it’s often hard to know when or if there is something wrong with our eyes as they often have no visible symptoms.

We know that 90 per cent of blindness or vision loss is preventable or treatable if detected early, so even if you're happy with your vision, it's worth visiting your local optometrist to get ahead of any issues before they arise.

Sometimes an optometrist will pick up on abnormalities within your body before another health practitioner . The equipment used by your optometrist can detect other health issues that may be going on. Many people first learn they have serious health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure from an eye health checkup with an optometrist. During your appointment, an optometrist can observe the condition of the blood vessels in your retina, which is a good predictor for the health throughout the rest of your body.

So what are you waiting for?

Put simply, if you’re born on a day ending in ‘y’, then you should have an optometrist as part of your general health regime.

Use our Find an Optometrist search tool to schedule an appointment today.

 

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