Regular eye examinations – did you know they can save lives?

 In News

There is a common misconception that going for an eye examination is all about your vision and how healthy your sight is.

Of course, checking your vision is an important element of an eye examination, but there are many other reasons why people should have regular tests of the eye.

Regular examinations are an effective way of looking at your overall health and signs of many potentially serious conditions can be spotted in the eye.

• Diabetes
• High cholesterol
• High blood pressure
• Glaucoma
• Macular Degeneration

Scientists are also hoping that signs of Alzheimer’s disease may also soon be detectable with an eye exam.

It’s not just adults who can be seen at the branch of your local optician’s, children are likely to be unaware they are struggling to see clearly and so regular check-ups for the family should be encouraged.  Some branches can offer examinations for people who are housebound and so please let them know if you would need assistance.

It is no exaggeration to say having regular eye examinations could save your life. Here at OcuMel UK we have supported many members whose cancer has been spotted during an eye examination. In some of these cases the early diagnoses arising from the eye examination has helped to save their vision and could help to prolong their lives.

Once such cancer is ocular melanoma, a cancer inside the eye with 450-600 people diagnosed each year.  In cases ocular melanoma has no and is only detected an regular eye examination.

Symptoms can include an increase of blurry vision or floaters, pain or flashes of light. However these symptoms can also be caused by other more common conditions and so it is important to have any changes in your vision or the appearance of your eye checked by your optometrist or GP.

There are other types of cancer which can involve conjunctiva (the mucous membrane that covers the front of the eye and lines the inside of the eyelids). These include intraocular lymphoma and retinoblastoma, a rare form of cancer which almost exclusively affects young children. There are also many documented cases of of brain tumours being spotted in the eye.

I hope from this article you now have a clearer understanding of the importance of having regular eye examinations. It is recommended that you have an eye examination at least every two years.  If symptoms are present and you are concerned, you can ask for a dilated eye exam when booking your appointment.  Your vision will be affected for a few hours after the examination but it allows the optometrist to have a better view at the back of your eye.  Rather than looking through the keyhole, it can be like opening the front door.

Here at OcuMel UK we are proud to be working alongside established optical group Observatory the Opticians and its sister company Wardale Williams on the wide reaching EyeSmart Campaign, to raise awareness of the importance of having regular eye examinations.

To find out more about our work or ocular melanoma, please visit www.omuk.info or if you’re interested in the EyeSmart campaign, go to www.eyesmartcampaign.co.uk

Thank you.

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