It’s Clear You Need an Eye Exam: How to Know When to Go

Taking care of your eyes and vision health should be part of daily life, with an eye exam every year or so. But there are other reasons you might want to see your eye doctor without delay. Here is a list of five signs that you need an eye exam, ASAP. 

Eye Exam Sign 1: Who Turned Out the Lights?

When you start noticing big differences in how well you see in light versus dark environments, it’s time to investigate. Getting older can mean that dim light is more difficult to read things such as menus or even a book at night, but when the symptoms appear quickly, it’s time to get an eye exam. Losing nighttime vision, especially when driving (such as not being able to read signs) could be an early sign of cataracts.  

Eye Exam Sign 2: Wow, My Book (Or Phone) Got Blurry

Around age 40, most adults will start to see the signs of presbyopia, which means that closer items will get a little bit blurry. You might try to squint to read menus or start holding a book further away from your face. Reading glasses can help, but it’s a good idea to make sure nothing more serious is happening with your vision. Astigmatism can also make your vision blurry, and simple reading glasses are not enough. Can you stop this on your own? Unfortunately, no, not even with deliberate practice at focusing. The American Academy of Ophthalmology notes that targeted eye exercises will not improve your eyesight1.  

Eye Exam Sign 3: I’m Seeing Halos Around Objects

If you start seeing light patterns or halos around objects in daylight, make an eye appointment. Sudden changes in your vision could be a sign of something severe, such as acute injury or an eye disease that could lead to loss of vision. Don’t hesitate to get an eye exam on this one, or anything that quickly changes how well you see.  

Eye Exam Sign 4: I Think I Had an Eye Exam a Few Years Ago, Maybe

If you can’t remember your last eye exam, it’s time. There are risks from skipping eye exams, even if you see clearly. Regular eye exams could detect serious conditions that affect your vision and even your overall health. Macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma are often symptom-free. Plus, the early signs of diabetes and even high blood pressure can often be detected by an eye exam. 

Eye Exam Sign 5: I Have Diabetes (Or, I Smoke)

Even if they seem unrelated, larger health issues like diabetes can cause eye problems over time. And if you don’t know that you have diabetes, an eye exam could detect it sooner. Regular eye exams are even more important if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or you smoke. Need one more reason to quit? According to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation, smokers are nearly four times as likely to develop macular degeneration2, which is difficult to spot in its early stages. The solution? Quit smoking AND get an annual eye exam. 

Signs Point to Healthy Vision

Your eye health matters. Schedule regular eye exams so that your health provider can monitor changes in your eyesight, as well as detect more serious issues like cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration.

Don’t yet have vision insurance? VSP has options for nearly everyone. Enroll online today. You can start by finding the right vision insurance plan for you. It’s time to protect your eyes for a healthy future. 


Information received through VSP Vision Care's social media channels is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice, medical recommendations, diagnosis, or treatment.  Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.


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