Optometrists everywhere have a story like this. (see my post about cancer found on a routine exam) It’s not just about glasses, eye exams are important for health, even if you can see well. Visit https://saveeyecare.ca and sign the petition, and write to your MPP to protect your family’s access to eye care!
People always think they would notice if something was wrong with their eyes, but that’s not always the case!
I had a patient last year, who had come in just because she felt like she needed stronger reading glasses. In fact, she almost cancelled her appointment because she was busy that day. Everything checked out: distance vison was great, and she did just need a boost for up close. Everything appeared normal up until the very last step of the exam. After dilation, I was able to see to the edges of her retina, and found a choroidal melanoma. Choroidal melanoma is the most common primary malignant eye tumor and the second most common type of primary malignant melanoma in the body. She was referred immediately and received radiation therapy. I saw her again this year, and so far she is doing well
The first picture below is a straight on view of her retina. Everything looks normal. The second picture is what was visible when she looked to the side. The melanoma was way off on the edge of her retina, which is why she did not have any symptoms or notice any changes in her vision.
A “virtual” sight test would not have caught this. If she was issued a renewed prescription online without a comprehensive eye exam, this would not have been found. #VisionHealthMonth
Eye exams are not just for glasses! The back of the eye is the only place where blood vessels can be viewed directly without breaking skin, so there are diseases that can by caught by an eye doctor before you start noticing symptoms anywhere else. It is so important to have your eyes checked regularly, even if you think your vision is fine. “Regularly” means at least once every two years, or yearly if there are health problems that run in the family.
Follow the link below to see 14 health problems which your eye doctor can see first, including diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid dysfunction, and more!