In the midst of hurling ourselves into the fall season, with annual physicals on the calendar and dental cleanings and field trip permission slips and new back-to-the-office and remote work protocols, it’s an easy necessity to overlook.

But a necessity it remains.

And that is to get eye exams scheduled for you and your family. Because when it comes to one of the most important tools in your tool kit to get all the things accomplished this year at work and school, good vision is critical.

Many kids go with undiagnosed vision issues until they hit the middle grades of elementary school. What can initially seem like a student struggling with attention or reading skills can often turn out to be a child who is having trouble seeing the blackboard, the computer screen, or the printed page. 

And that goes for you, too. If you’re having a hard time with headaches or the lighting in a room, it’s time to get those eyes checked. 

We usually think that keeping track of the health of our vision is about what’s clear and what’s blurry. And that’s certainly an important part of protecting your eye health. Making sure your eyeglasses or contact prescription is up to date can literally save you a lot of headaches down the line and can improve your ability to discern detail in everything from documents to graphics and more. But an eye exam can also reveal high blood pressure or hypertension. And that’s not all. Evidence of things like diabetes, skin cancer, and thyroid disease can be found during eye exams, giving an early warning signal for you to then take to your primary physician.

“Where words are restrained, the eyes often talk a great deal.”

 – Samuel Richardson

With young kids, it can be hard to figure out if they are experiencing vision challenges or not, particularly in those ages and stages before children typically begin to read. There are some signs to look out for as you assess your child’s vision. If your child frequently rubs their eyes, or sits too close to the television or pulls a book very close to their face, these could be signals that they are struggling to see clearly. The earlier vision issues are caught, the better a path you can lay for your child before they begin more formalized learning. As they begin more academic pursuits in school, this is also a key time to make sure how they are doing through vision testing.

“The eye is the lamp of the body. 

So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light…”

Matthew 6:22

There are memberships available through Altrua HealthShare that offer significant discounts on vision exams, eyeglasses, contact lenses, and LASIK at more than 40,000 participating provider locations. If you’re part of the Altrua HealthShare Membership, review your Membership Guidelines for vision discount services. If you are not yet part of the Altrua HealthShare Membership, consider joining so you can take care of both that annual physical and an eye exam to keep you and your family healthy.

Julie Lyles Carr is a best-selling author, podcaster, and entrepreneur living in Austin, Texas, with her husband Mike Carr. They have eight kids, two unfriendly cats, and an antique dachshund. 

Disclaimer: This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions regarding a medical condition.