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Are annual eye exams really that important?

Like a lot of people, you may think you only need to go to the eye doctor if your eyes are blurry or you have problems seeing. You may feel like a yearly eye exam is a waste of time or money. You may be surprised to learn that yearly eye exams are an easy, very important way to protect your eyes and overall health.

Your sight is precious!

It's easy to take your eyes for granted, but anyone who's experienced vision loss knows how precious good sight is. "You may not notice a problem with your vision, but an eye exam can help your doctor detect problems before you realize they exist," explains Stephen Glasser, OD, FAAO, a VSP doctor in Washington DC. "During your exam, your eye doctor will look for eye muscle imbalance, vision disorders, and eye disease that could potentially cause future problems."

Your eyes are windows to your health.

Because symptoms of health conditions often don't appear until damage has already occurred, vision exams are also a great way to keep tabs on what's happening in your body. Your eyes are the only place in your body that provide a clear view of your blood vessels, which can tell your doctor a lot about your overall health.

"During a comprehensive eye exam, your VSP eye doctor checks for more than just vision problems," says Dr. Glasser. They'll look for signs of health conditions like diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. Early detection and treatment is the best way for you to keep your body—and wallet—healthy.