By Cynthia Payne

After being in practice for 18 years, I sometimes forget that the public still needs to be continually educated on the need to have their eyes checked every year. I have been reminded of this recently. The patient was in for an exam because he failed his vision screening at work. He had not been having annual eye exams and was diagnosed with advanced glaucoma. Treatment of glaucoma is to try and stop the progression of vision loss but nothing will restore the damage that has already been done. This patient lost his job because he could no longer meet the minimum visual requirements necessary for the job. Just because his visual acuity was good, it didn’t mean he could skip an annual eye exam.

Annual comprehensive eye exams are also critical for children. Vision must be corrected at an early age for proper vision development and learning. It is estimated that 80 percent of learning is visual for children. As they grow, their vision can change and their prescription will need to be changed as well to help them see and optimally perform.

Like with the rest of our body, many eye diseases diagnosed early can be managed to help decrease progression of the disease…

A comprehensive eye exam assesses vision, binocularity (how well the eyes work together), peripheral vision (side vision), color vision, determines if there is a need for vision correction (eyeglasses or contact lenses) and evaluates the current health of the structures of the eye. While the following list of diseases is by no means comprehensive, it gives some examples of some of the more common diseases diagnosed. Starting at the front, the doctor will look at the eyelids and eyelashes to see if they are clear of bacteria, if the oil glands are secreting properly, and if the lids are positioning properly against the eyeballs and doing a complete blink. The doctor is also looking for any lumps or ulcerations that may need to be investigated further. On the front of the eyeball, the clarity and curvature of the cornea is evaluated and the drainage structures for fluid inside the eye is assessed. The surface is checked for any allergic, bacterial or viral infection or any type of inflammation present. Eye pressure is checked because high eye pressure can be associated with glaucoma. The lens of the eye is evaluated for cataract development and progression. The vitreous (the jelly-like filling of the eyeball) is checked for clarity. The optic nerve is assessed for any swelling, bleeding, pallor and cupping (large cupping can be associated with glaucoma or nerve damage). The retina simplistically contains the photoreceptors and blood vessels. The retina is checked for bleeding, holes, tears and any pigmentation irregularities or lumps. Diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid disease, myasthenia gravis and many autoimmune disorders can affect structures of the eye.

Health, genetics, medication, UV exposure and aging are all factors that play a role in eye disease. Like with the rest of our body, many eye diseases diagnosed early can be managed to help decrease progression of the disease or treated to heal the effects of disease. At Trendsetter Eyewear, Dr. Cynthia Payne provides comprehensive eye exams for patients of all ages and accepts many vision benefits plans.

Trendsetter Eyewear also has a large selection of designer fashion eyewear and sunglasses and offers the newest technology for the most optically clear lenses. Comprehensive eye exams are recommended every year. Protect your vision and the health of your eyes by scheduling your annual eye exam. Trendsetter Eyewear accepts appointments, which can be scheduled by calling 702.479.5222, and visit for more information.