Do you believe the eyes are the window of your soul?

Whether you believe this to be true or not, what is certain is that the eyes are a window to your health – eye examinations go well beyond just making sure your vision isn’t blurry.

Even if you think you have perfect vision, an annual eye examination can be one of the best things you can do to protect your overall health. Many health insurance policies cover an annual eye examination and contribute to the cost of prescription glasses. Please check your health insurance policy or ask your Client Relationship Manager to be sure.

More than 50 per cent of sight loss is preventable, so getting your eyes tested regularly can help prevent, or limit, the damage caused by certain eye conditions.

Only an optometrist or ophthalmologist can carry out a comprehensive eye examination to ensure your vision is as clear as possible, possibly by prescribing a pair of glasses or contact lenses. Importantly, the examination can also confirm that you’re free from potentially serious eye diseases that don’t have obvious early symptoms, such as glaucoma. Without regular eye examinations, there is a danger that you will only become aware of glaucoma after you’ve sustained permanent loss of vision. Once that happens, sadly treatment to prevent further loss of vision is much more difficult.

But an eye examination can detect and monitor more than eye disease. Serious illnesses and health conditions, such as diabetes, various heart conditions, cancers of the eye, brain tumours, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure, can all be identified as part of a regular eye examination.

And looking to the future, research is advancing to develop an eye test to identify the risk for Alzheimer’s disease.

“We need a better way of diagnosing Alzheimer’s — like a simple blood test or eye exam — before we’re able to slow the progression of the disease,” Bill Gates said in announcing a $30m research investment.

Watch this space!

So, our advice, act now and book an eye examination today.

Jargon buster

Optometrists are a specialised eye health care professional who are licensed to examine your eyes and write prescriptions for corrective glasses or contact lenses.

Ophthalmologists are doctors who care for patients with eye conditions. They diagnose, treat and prevent disorders of the eyes and visual system, using medical and surgical skills.

Glaucoma is a common eye condition where the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain, becomes damaged. It’s usually caused by fluid building up in the front part of the eye, which increases pressure inside the eye. Glaucoma can lead to loss of vision if it’s not diagnosed and treated early.