Why did I wait so long for an eye exam?

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This year national changes are in affect to provide our children with annual eye exams, not to mention Prevent Blindness and other national eye health organizations launched the Year of Children’s Vision.

Why is it important for kids to receive their annual eye exam, you may ask? The most important reason is because one in four children in the U.S. have undetected vision problems which could impair learning. Yet, many young children may have trouble expressing that they have vision problems because they are used to how they see the world and may not realize something is wrong.

With that said, I was one of those kids who always passed the various school vision screening tests. But, when my parents found out my younger sister could potentially need glasses we went as a family to get our eye examinations. Lo and behold, my eyes were fine. Naturally, that first positive check up was taken as the final word. I hadn’t been to the eye doctor since, and it has been almost 20 years.

As the years went by since my first eye exam, I occasionally experienced some eye strain. I did not think to go to my eye doctor because I just attributed it to consistently being in front of the computer for school, leisure or work.

When I started to work for VSP I learned so much about eye health, including the importance of annual eye exams. One fact that particularly struck me, is that serious health conditions, like diabetes can be detected through an eye exam. So, I says to myself, “Grace, diabetes runs on both sides of your family and it’s been 20 years. Get your eyes checked.” Did I jump at the opportunity? Nope, I waited because my eye sight is fine. Then, the eye pain that I’ve constantly placed on the back burner started making its way to the front. Could it possibly be psychological? Possibly. Did I get a check up? Nope.

Finally, the last straw was drawn. I watched this video article about the integration of electronic devices in our daily lives. I realized  my eye strain is from more than just being in front of a computer for the last 20 years, but the rest of my current daily routine is also digitally centered. I wake up in the morning and turn on the TV to catch the morning news; my cell phone is at my side at all times giving me direct access to social media, e-mail, and games (any other Candy Crush addicts out there?) Not to mention, I end my days back in front of the TV. This realization was my motivation to schedule an appointment with my local VSP doctor’s office.

Dr. Nguyen was the sweetest! I told her how long it’s been since my last exam, and the entire story I just shared with you, so she gave me the play by play and explained what each machine did. After a thorough examination, I am happy to report that there was no detection of serious health conditions. (Take that diabetes!)  However, I did find out that I am starting to develop nearsightedness and  that the eye strain I’ve been experiencing is related to my use of electronics which emit blue light.

Thankfully there are solutions to these problems. I will continue to make annual eye exams a priority to track changes in my vision and overall health. And I’m so ready to get a stylish pair of frames with Unity Blue Light Protection lenses!


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