One should not wait for vision problems to occur before having the eyes checked.
Eye experts repeatedly issue this advice in light of the fact that most Filipinos take their eyes for granted and fail to see the importance of having routine eye checkups until there is already a problem, possibly a critical one at that.
Dr. Benjamin Cabrera, an ophthalmologist at the country's pioneering eye care clinic, the American Eye Center, says that like annual physical examinations, periodic eye checkups will help anticipate any potential problem that could suddenly or gradually lead to bad vision.
"Most adults consider vision the most important of the five senses, yet they don't bother having their eyes examined regularly," he says. "Eye examinations should be part of one's health maintenance, and should be taken regardless of age or physical health."
In support of August as the Sight-Saving Month, Cabrera says that adults should have their eyes tested to keep their prescriptions current and to check for early signs of eye disease. Children must also be made to undergo regular eye exams to ensure normal vision development.
He adds that people should not skip eye checkups just because they practice what they falsely think are habits for good eyesight, such as reading in well-lit interiors, reducing computer usage, sitting far from TV screens or even eating carrots.
"These practices are myths because they don't improve vision in any way, and they don't prevent poor eyesight from developing," he says. "We only have one pair of eyes, and the best way to care for them is to monitor their health through regular eye checkups."
A certified ophthalmologist must perform eye checkups to ensure professional integrity of advice and treatment. Cabrera, a specialist in cataract surgery, is one of 18 eye experts or EyeMDs who make American Eye Center a leading institution in the field. Their collective expertise covers all major areas of subspecialty in eye care. They also hold teaching positions in some of the country's top medical schools and are affiliated with various institutions and professional organizations.
American Eye Center, the country's largest mall-based diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical one-stop shop for world-class eye care, also possesses the latest diagnostic equipment for the early detection and monitoring of all eye diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and cataract. It also has the country's first Wavelight Refractive Suite, currently the fastest, safest and most advanced dual laser technology in the world used for the All-Laser or Bladeless LASIK surgery to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.
American Eye Center is accredited with the Department of Health and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation. Its main office is located at the Level 5, EDSA Shangri-La Plaza, while a modern and fully equipped extension clinic can be found at the Level 4 of Greenbelt 5, Makati City. For inquiries, call 636-0762 or 729-EYES (3937).