Love the exam, love your eyes: 4 ways an annual visit can improve your life

Billie Jean King

Here are words worth reading twice: An eye exam can make legends. Just ask Billie Jean King.
As a youth, the future World No. 1 professional tennis player couldn’t figure out why her game wasn’t improving. Then when she had trouble reading in the classroom, she put 20 and 20 together. She went to the eye doctor, got a pair of glasses and never looked back, even when told there had never been a champion who wore glasses.

“Within a week, I was like twice as good,” King told Pearle Vision in a video for its vision health campaign. “My dreams started to be a possibility.”

Billie Jean King tells Pearle Vision how an eye exam changed her game.

An eye exam can open up possibilities for a fuller life for everyone, not just tennis champs — and it’s easier today than ever to get one. Thanks to new technologies and the expanded availability of eye doctors, you can locate an eye doctor with flexible hours and schedule an exam online or on your mobile device in minutes.

From muscles to heart: 4 reasons to get an eye exam

  1. The eyes are your body’s iron men: Your eyes have the busiest muscles in the body. They move 3 times a second, more than 100,000 times every day.1 Like athletes, your eyes should get regular checkups to address wear and tear.
  2. Fuzziness is on the horizon, no matter what. If you’re approaching 40, there’s a good chance you’ll be seeing a little fuzzy in a few years. Presbyopia is an age-related condition that everyone experiences at some point.2 Untreated, it can cause headaches and eye fatigue. But if you experience signs well before 40, it could indicate anemia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and multiple sclerosis.3
  3. It could prevent you from being blind-sided. Did you know age-related macular degeneration, the gradual loss of central vision, is the leading cause of blindness among people 50 and older? It’s often caused by protein and fat deposits beneath the retina, which accumulate slowly so it could be hard to notice. An eye exam can help detect it so you can get treated.4
  4. An exam could detect problems below the neck. A lot could be revealed about your health beyond the eyes — including the presence of blood clots. Blocked blood vessels in the eye also could signal high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes and other blood disorders.5

From child to champion

Like young Billie Jean King, kids have much to gain from an annual eye exam as well. Here are 4 reasons why children should see the eye doctor every year.

  1. Blurry could be normal to them. How do you know if your child has a vision problem? Kids aren’t likely to say if they don’t see clearly because they probably don’t know it. But 1 out of 4 kids has an undiagnosed vision issue, which can lead to learning challenges.6
  2. 123s and AB-Sees. Billie Jean King was old enough to understand she had trouble reading and seeing the ball, but what if she was 5 or 6? 80% of what a child learns in school is presented visually, so if their vision is compromised, their education is, too.7
  3. Screenings don’t cover everything. You might think a recent school screening would have detected any potential vision problems in your child, but school screenings aren’t enough. Many vision screenings test only for distance, for example.8
  4. To make healthy adults. Roughly 35% of American preschoolers are farsighted, nearsighted or have astigmatism.9 And don’t be fooled by the condition amblyopia, often called lazy eye. The eye may look normal, but the condition could cause irreversible vision loss if untreated.10

In short, follow the ball. As Billie Jean King discovered, good vison is empowering. Find an eye doctor near you and schedule an eye exam.


This sponsored content was produced in conjunction with our partners at Pearle Vision.

  1. “Most Active Muscle,” Guinness World Records,; “Looking at What the Eyes See,” NPR, Feb. 25, 2015, Accessed Dec. 13, 2018
  2. “Presbyopia,”,, Accessed Dec. 13, 2018
  3. Ibid. Accessed Dec. 13, 2018
  4. “Macular Degeneration,” Foundation Fighting Blindness,, Accessed Dec. 13, 2018
  5. “Retinal Vascular Occlusion,”,, Accessed Dec. 13, 2018
  6. “5 Facts About Vision in America that You Need to Know,” by Erin Zalkis, Huffington Post, Dec. 14, 2014,, Accessed Dec. 13, 2018
  7. “Learning-Related Vision Problems,” by Rob Murphy,, April 2017,, Accessed Dec. 13, 2018
  8. “Limitations of Vision Screening Programs,” American Optometric Association,, Accessed Dec. 13, 2018
  9. “Eye Exams for Children,” by Gary Heiting,, May 2018,, Accessed Dec. 13, 2018
  10. “What are the Causes of Vision Loss? What Puts a Child at Risk?”,, Accessed Dec. 13, 2018