The sense of sight is one of the most valuable and vital senses. Without proper vision, completing daily tasks and activities can be challenging. Activities like driving, working, and participating in sports can also be dangerous without proper vision. That is why knowing when to get an eye exam is essential.
Eye exams provide a comprehensive assessment of your eye health and vision. They include tests to determine the sharpness of your vision and checks for common eye problems such as glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration. But what signs should you look for that indicate it is time to see an optometrist?
Headache and Eye Strain
Several factors, including uncorrected vision issues such as nearsightedness or astigmatism, can cause eye strain. Eye strain can also be caused by viewing digital screens for extended periods or reading in poor lighting. When experiencing headaches and eye strain, it is essential to determine whether or not vision problems cause them.
To determine if a headache results from vision problems, it can help to look at the symptoms. Do you experience a dull ache or throbbing pain in your head? Does the headache worsen after long periods of looking at a screen or in dim lighting? If you experience any of these signs, it is best to book an appointment with your optometrist so they can assess your eyes and determine if glasses are necessary.
Changes in Vision
Changes in your vision could signify certain eye conditions, such as glaucoma or macular degeneration, requiring medical attention. Glaucoma is a condition that causes increased pressure in the eye and can lead to blindness if not treated. Macular degeneration is an age-related condition that affects central vision, making it difficult to see clearly.
If you experience sudden changes in your vision, including blurriness, difficulty focusing on objects close up or far away, or seeing spots or floaters, a qualified optometrist should check your eyes as soon as possible.
Age-related Eye Problems
With age comes a greater risk of developing certain eye diseases. It is essential to start getting regular eye exams as early as 40 and as often as every two to four years, depending on your age, health history, and other factors.
If your family has a history of eye diseases, you may need to get your eyes checked more frequently. Your optometrist can provide information about the frequency of eye exams appropriate for you and your family.
If you already wear glasses or contact lenses, getting regular eye exams and updating your prescription as needed is important. Even if you are not experiencing any vision changes, it is still essential to get regular eye exams since prescriptions can change over time. Your optometrist will be able to determine whether a new prescription is necessary or if your current glasses need to be adjusted.
Allergies and Eye Irritation
Eye irritation can be caused by numerous environmental factors such as air pollution, dust particles, smoke, and pollen. If you experience any symptoms of eye irritation, including itching, redness, excessive tearing, or a burning sensation in the eyes, it is essential to get your eyes checked for allergies or other conditions that could be causing the problem.
Allergies can cause eye irritation and other symptoms such as watery eyes, sneezing, coughing, and congestion. Allergies can also lead to more serious issues if left untreated.
Health Conditions With Eye Symptoms
Certain health conditions can cause eye problems. Diabetes, high blood pressure, and thyroid disorders are all known to contribute to vision issues. If you have any of these conditions, it is important to get your eyes tested regularly.
High cholesterol can also lead to vision issues, such as reduced peripheral vision and difficulty adapting to darkness or low-light environments.
Foreign Objects in the Eye
Foreign objects like dirt, dust, and other debris can get stuck in the eyes. If this happens, it is important to flush out the eye with clean water or saline solution as soon as possible to avoid further irritation.
If after flushing the eye you still experience pain or discomfort, contact your optometrist immediately. They have the necessary tools and expertise to help remove the foreign object, reducing your risk of infection.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer for how often someone should get an eye exam. Depending on your age, medical history, and risk factors for certain conditions, the frequency of your eye exams may vary. It is best to consult with a professional optician like French Optical Fashion, Inc. to determine the ideal frequency of eye exams for you and your family. We are dedicated to providing high-quality optical services and strive to provide the best possible care for your eyes. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you keep your vision sharp.