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WELLNESS WEDNESDAY: Longview doctor shares importance of getting annual eye exam

Ophthalmologist Dr. Sawyer Hall said it's important to get an annual eye exam for screenings and preventing any life threatening problems.

LONGVIEW, Texas — Some of the most common problems doctors during optical exams see are dry eye and cataracts.

Ophthalmologist Dr. Sawyer Hall, who works at Christus Trinity Clinic - DeHaven Eye Center Longview, dry eye can be caused from the following issues: hormone changes, autoimmune disease, inflamed eyelids and allergic eye disease.

However, the good news is this can be easily treated. The best remedy for dry eyes is putting in drops everyday, and if not treated it can ultimately lead to vision loss.

Cataracts happen when there is a cloudiness forming in the eye, causing blurriness. The best thing people can do for this is get cataract surgery. Hall said once the surgery is done he’s seen patients regain greater independence and improved vision.

For kids, studies have shown spending a lot of time in front of a screen can have a significant effect on their vision. The more time spent doing nearsighted work, like being on a tablet, can affect farsighted vision. The more people are focused on a task, the less they tend to blink. This can lead to not resurfacing the eye with a healthy tear film. 

Hall also said it's crucial to schedule eye exams for kids before they start school because vision plays a huge role in the kids' ability to succeed in school.

As far as wearing contact lenses go, Hall said the number one thing people shouldn’t do is sleep in their contacts. This can cause bacterial infection which can lead to vision loss or even the need for surgery. He recommends changing contacts every six weeks and wash hands before touching contacts. 

"Your eye doctor will be glad to see you and be glad to check you for glasses or cataracts or glaucoma, or anything that's really fixable. And we can get that addressed," Hall said.

This Texas heat can also affect your vision. Hall says if people are having a heat stroke and your blood pressure drops below normal levels it can cause potential optic neuropathy that can lead to seizures.

Ways to help prevent this is include limiting time outside, wearing sunglasses and staying hydrated.

He also said It’s important to maintain a good diet. Taking fish oil can significantly help vision and of course getting an annual exam so physicians can complete screenings and help fix any problems before the issues become too threatening.

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