We use our eyesight every day, and yet, we tend to take it for granted. How can we make sure we care for one of our most valued senses? Regular eye exams are the best way to know we are giving our eyes the care they deserve. Answering the following questions may help you know if it’s time for you to get a checkup on your vision.
Why should you get an eye exam?
Eye exams are a necessary part of healthy eyesight. Not only do they allow early diagnoses of eye conditions, they can also correct any vision delays you may be experiencing. Your vision is constantly changing, even more than you may realize. Eye exams can provide the means to not only keep you safe as you drive or operate machinery but also help you live the fullest life possible.
How long has it been since your last exam?
The amount of time you should wait between eye exams is different for everyone. Those with no prior history of vision problems may only need an eye exam every two years. However, for most, it is recommended you receive an eye exam once a year or more. You may fall under that category if you:
- Currently use contact lenses
- Are over the age of 60
- Have had previous eye injuries or eye surgery
- Work in an occupation that causes eye strain or involves activities such as writing, driving, welding or computer work
- Have diabetes, high blood pressure, eye disease or a family history of these diseases
- Take medicines that have visual side effects
Chances are, it’s time to get an appointment on the calendar. If it’s been over a year since you last had your eyes checked out, or if you fall under one of the categories above, it’s been too long. Talk to your doctor to see how often you should get an eye exam.
Are your eyes sending you a message?
While regular yearly exams are important, you may notice other signs that your eyes are ready for a checkup. Your eyes may be sending you a message to go to the doctor if you:
- Notice you can’t see road signs while driving at night
- Experience itchy, red eyes or discharge
- Suffer from frequent headaches or migraines
- See black spots, flashes of light or little spots that float around your line of vision
- Notice recurrent eye fatigue or discomfort as your move your eyes
- Feel a strong sensitivity to light
- Have a hard time focusing when looking at a single object
- Feel nauseated or dizzy while trying to follow a moving target
- Squint or close one eye to read or hold books at a distance in order to see words clearly
- Are diagnosed with a health condition that could affect your eyes, such as diabetes
Experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, or any other conditions you notice that are out of the ordinary, are signals you shouldn’t ignore. Get to a doctor right away so they can correct vision issues and catch any diseases before they get worse.