A comprehensive eye exam is important for everyone, including people that are not able to speak or communicate. In fact, regular eye check-ups are more important for someone who is not able to communicate, because if a problem does arise, this person is not able to tell us that there is vision loss or eye pain. Without an eye examination, a serious eye problem could be missed and permanent vision loss could result. Loss of vision means loss of mobility, functioning and independence.
If someone is not able to communicate verbally, your optometrist can still do a complete eye examination and get the results necessary to determine an eyeglass prescription and to determine that the eyes are healthy. With their specialized equipment, your optometrist can prescribe glasses, even if someone is unable to answer the question, “Which is lens is clearer, one or two?” It is also possible to determine if the eyes are working together and to check the internal and external health of the eyes. With the cooperation of the patient, your optometrist can also measure the eye pressure to help determine one’s risk for glaucoma.
Therefore, for those who are unable to communicate, including young children, elderly people with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, those affected by stroke or those with cognitive disability, it is still possible for your optometrist to do a complete eye exam. Eye exams should be done annually or sooner if there appears to be any change in mobility or functioning, as these people are unable to communicate when a problem does arise. Good vision allows us to learn, allows us to recognize people around us, and allows for mobility and independence. What could be more important?