Eye Exam Awareness and Why it is So IMPORTANT

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So eye exams are very, very, very, very, very important. I have people come in all of the time, they’re like, I have headaches, I have eye pain. Oh, I can’t concentrate. I’m looking at a computer all day long and I’m like, what is the last time you had an eye exam? And I don’t think I’ve had an eye exam since I was an adult. So let’s exit the notion out here and now the yes, everyone needs an eye exam. So, somebody put that in the chat. Everyone needs a yearly eye exam. So, some things that you need to know. Is number one, eye exams can be started as early as 3 years old. They’re going to start showing a little boats. and circles and crosses. So when your child is unable to pinpoint, symbols give them to the Eye Doctor. 

Because I was so surprised that when Zoe was four and a half in that three year old class, there were at least three kids that were already in glasses and I was like ‘Oh my gosh, I feel like I was a slacker I need to get my kid in to get her eye checked.’ 

So just think 3 years old they can say those and talk well, know the alphabets and know their shapes, get them on to the eye doctor, they may have astigmatisms, they can have all kinds of little things. Yes, everyone needs an eye exam and eye exams can start very early. Yes, get your kid in. Number one, your kid needs an eye exam you don’t have to wait till they’re failing in school, falling off at school, having issues in school, complaining about headaches, it so much, cuz a little kids saying they have a headache I mean, I’m straight to at least make sure that she don’t have a brain tumor. We went to an optometrist. We went to see a vision in Birmingham, Alabama, Dr. Lori Jasper. Who is a Spelman sister and a Soror of mine and I highly recommend her. So if you’re in town check her out. So yes, kids need eye exams, even toddlers. get your three-year-old, four-year-old in to the eye doctors If they have not. 

Here’s another big issue, a lot of people’s jobs are not offering eye insurance anymore, so call them and say, what’s the price for a typical eye exam? It may be anywhere from $100 to $150. You may be surprised as an adult. If you have dry eyes, maybe you need your eye exam. If you’re diabetic, you’ll get an eye exam included and if you have high blood pressure, You can get your eyes checked under your basic health insurance. So my husband went in and he’s got high blood pressure. He took his insurance card, and he was charged with typical co- payment and went on with the show. So know your history and know that there’s some things in your history that can cause your eyes to be bad, okay? 

Number two, knowing your insurance may allow you to have an eye exam based on your past medical history is a high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid disease, dry eye syndrome, and several diseases that affect the eye. Number three, know your family history. Family history is so terribly important because in my family, my grandmother had a diagnosis of Glaucoma. So when I went in and they were looking at my eyes they were like yeah. Something’s off there. So I’m like, oh my goodness, my grandmother had Glaucoma. Checked the pressure in my eyes, the pressure was normal but I had to go through an extensive amount of testing because my eyes were different when they looked in the back of it. So for  now we watch it. I go every single year. So, know your family history, if glaucoma runs in your family, if congenital cataracts run in your family, all of these things could be reasons why, you know, hey, I never had to wear glasses but now all of a sudden, I do. Know your history. I went to Dr. Valencia a couple of years ago and Morris Eye care in Birmingham and she took me through the rundown, checked my visual fields, checked the pressure in my eyes. Make sure I don’t have Glaucoma, because Glaucoma can cause blindness. It is one of the number one reasons that African-Americans go blind. So AGAIN be mindful to know your family history. So you have to talk a lot of time especially in the African-American Community and ask questions. Why would they go blind, we have no clue why. They didn’t tell us? They didn’t talk about those things. 

Get your eye exam before you start to have problems.

Number three, if you’re diabetic you definitely need your yearly diabetic eye exam. You need to be seen by the ophthalmologist. They will check your retinas, and make sure that the diabetes isn’t starting to cause swelling or leakage in your eyes, because you can have what’s called diabetic retinopathy, which can cause blindness. If you’re not a controlled diabetic, that means your A1C is less than 7. You can be in trouble. Remember the A1C is the average of your blood sugars over the last 90 days. So the last 3 months, it tells you what your blood sugars have averaged. We want that to be 150 or less. Know your A1C, we want that number to be less than 7. Ask when your blood is drawn, “Please tell me what my A1C is.”

Lastly- Get your eyes checked, it’s necessary and things can happen slowly over time and you do not even know it!

Dr. Kre Johnson is a Board Certified Family Medicine Physician Brownstone BWell: Brownstone Healthcare has partnered with the City of Birmingham to offer primary care services to the employees of the City of Birmingham for $0 copayment. This partnership is for preventative services & screenings and sick visits.  We partner with your current primary care physician and our goal is to keep you out of the ER and urgent care.  We do not share your information with the City of Birmingham. We uphold HIPPA and professional standards.  You can visit us at our downtown location 1700 5th Ave N Birmingham, AL 35203 or Trussville: 4643 Camp Coleman Road #117 Trussville, AL 35173 205-202-5650 call for your appointment today.


Dr. Ankrehah Trimble Johnson aka "Dr Kre"


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