Why eye exams are vital at all ages

Treating infants to seniors, regular optometrist visits will catch any issues early

Colin was nine when he visited the optometrist for a routine eye exam.

His parents had no reason to suspect he had vision problems – there were no tell-tale signs like headaches, difficulty reading or challenges with his school work. And that made the discovery that he was in fact significantly near-sighted so much more surprising.

“Because the world looks the same to the child as it always did, they don’t often complain if their vision is blurry,” explains Surrey Optometry’s Dr. Glenn Dyck,noting tests can be adapted for even the youngest children. “We have seen time and again that children with no obvious eye problems still need an eye exam.

From their first days through their preschool years and into school, children’s eyes are changing. Because early intervention yields the best treatment, the BC Doctors of Optometry recommend children receive their first eye exam at six months old, another before they start kindergarten, then annually throughout their school years.

“Like Colin, even if school students seem to have good vision, they sometimes have difficulty concentrating on studies, and can find themselves losing their place when reading. Often a pair of glasses or contacts will solve the problem,” says Dr. Dyck, who with his team has been serving Surrey’s eye needs for more than 25 years, with a special focus on young people.

The good news for parents is that B.C.’s Medical Services Plan covers the exam cost, so there’s no reason not to get it done, notes Dr. Dyck.

Adults and ‘computer eyes’

Eyes continue to change as we age. Regular exams can help track those changes while also watching for signs of diseases like glaucoma and diabetes.

“One of the biggest problems adults face is ‘computer eyes,” Dr. Dyck notes. “Lenses with the proper coating will make a world of difference. “And adults often tell us ‘I can see far away and I can see close up, it’s the in-between that is blurry.’ The fix for that is usually easy, just come in for an eye exam.”

Vision changes for seniors

Vision starts changing again as people age, whether because of cataracts, macular degeneration or diabetes. “These and other conditions are detectable with the right equipment at our office,” Dr. Dyck says. “And not all our patients need glasses. Some simply need the right medicine to clear up a red eye, or treat more serious conditions like glaucoma.”

For those who are needing glasses, Margaret is an expert and experienced at finding exactly the right frames for each face. And if contact lenses are your preferred vision fix, Ian’s passion is making contact lenses work for every situation, and also runs a top notch lab.

***

Visit Surrey Optometry at 10501A King George Blvd. at 105 Avenue or online at surreyoptometry.ca.

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