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Get Your Eyes Screened at 40

February, 2010

Healthcare Times Feature

Wheaton Eye Clinic

If you recently celebrated your 40th birthday, give yourself a belated gift: the gift of continued good sight.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that adults get a baseline eye disease screening by an ophthalmologist at age 40. This is the time when early signs of several eye diseases and changes in vision may start to occur, often without any obvious symptoms.

Dr. Terry Voirin of the Wheaton Eye Clinic in Plainfield explains, “A baseline evaluation is important because it may uncover abnormalities of the visual system as well as evidence of many forms of disease. By uncovering problems during these examinations, disorders can be caught early enough to be successfully treated or controlled. The results of this baseline exam tell your doctor what follow up is needed to keep your eyes healthy.”

A thorough ophthalmologic exam is simple, comfortable and takes less than an hour. Your eyes will be dilated so the doctor can see the entire eye from front to back. First the doctor examines the eyelids then moves to the cornea and natural lens. Moving to the back of the eye, the retina and optic nerve also are examined. Your eye pressure will be checked to make sure it is not elevated which is an indication of glaucoma. Because of the dilation, your eyes will be light sensitive for a few hours following the exam.

This baseline screening at age 40 does not replace regular visits to the ophthalmologist to treat ongoing disease or injuries. It also is different from routine vision examinations for eye glasses or contact lenses. Much like mammograms at 40, or colon screenings at 50, this eye disease screening is a reminder for adults as they age that they need to maintain their eye health.

If you are age 40 or older and have not had a dilated eye examination by an ophthalmologist, schedule a screening today. It is an essential step toward preserving your vision and keeping your eyes healthy.