Yes, it is important to have a comprehensive eye exam at least once a year. A comprehensive eye exam includes dilation – which allows for the evaluation of diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and glaucoma and even life-threatening conditions like a brain tumor. In 2013 Dr. Wade saw a patient…who had been seeing another ophthalmologist since 2009. Dr. Wade ordered additional tests – which determined the patient had a tumor on his pituitary gland that was pressing on his optic nerve, which was causing loss of vision. Dr. Wade immediately scheduled an MRI and referred him to a neurosurgeon at Methodist Hospital. Following the removal of the macro adenoma tumor, his vision has been totally restored. Dr. Autry saw a child who was complaining of headaches (his vision blurry in one eye) and after she dilated and looked behind his eyes she discovered a tumor. She immediately called Texas Children’s Hospital where his tumor was removed.
While these are extreme cases, there are eye diseases like glaucoma that can steal sight without any pain, symptoms or signs…and if not treated can cause permanent loss of vision. Other diseases can also be detected by looking at your blood vessels, and retina. They may be able to tell you if you are developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol or other problems. And if you have diabetes, an annual eye exam is the most important thing you can do for your eyes.