When was the last time you popped down to your local opticians for a check-up? We may have had it drilled into us to visit the dentist every six months but rarely do we grant our eyes the same courtesy! We only have one pair so it’s essential that we take care of them throughout our lives.
You go to the dentist when you have toothache and you go to the Doctors when you’re poorly but when it comes to your eyes it may not always be obvious there is something wrong as they don’t hurt. Eye checks aren’t just important to test your vision to see if you need glasses or not they can also make the difference between vision and blindness.
This may seem a bit extreme but optometrists aren’t just trained to pick up any vision defects they’re also trained to pick up on symptoms in the eye that could mean the patient has a potentially serious health condition or disease.
How Often Should I Have an Eye Test?
How often you should go for a check-up depends on your age as well as any underlying medical conditions you may have. Everyone needs regular eyes tests however some people need them more often than others.
When it comes to children it’s very important that children under the age of 7 have an eye test every 6 months. Eyes tests play an important role in ensuring your child’s vision is developing as it should be. Vision is also closely linked with the learning process so it’s important than any vision problems are picked up as undetected vision problems can affect a child’s schoolwork. Children aged 7 to 16 should have an eye test every year.
If you’re aged 16 to 59 an eye test is recommended once every two years and anyone over 60 should get a check-up every year. If you are diabetic or your family has a history of glaucoma you should get an eye test once every 12 months.
Why Regular Eye Tests Are Important:
• You only get one pair of eyes and you can’t replace your sight once it has gone
• It won’t always be obvious that there is something wrong
• Potentially dangerous and blinding conditions like glaucoma and be detected early
• Health conditions like heart problems or diabetes can be picked up in an eye test
• Poor eyesight can be very dangerous on the roads – there is a legal standard that your eyesight must meet for you to be able to drive
• If you have glasses regular eye tests will ensure you are still wearing the correct prescription
• If you don’t wear glasses any vision defects as you get older can be picked up and corrected with glasses and contact lenses.
What You Should Look Out For:
There are a few signs that you may need an eye test:
• If you’ve noticed you can’t see as clearly as you used to
• If you have difficult focussing on things from a distance
• If you have difficulty reading
For more serious symptoms like the ones listed below you should go straight to the hospital:
• If you have an accident involving your eyes
• If you suddenly start seeing flashing lights or floaters in your eyes
• If you have a sudden change in vision or you lose all or part of your vision in one or both of your eyes
Even if you don’t have any symptoms you should still ensure you get your eyes checked regularly for your peace of mind that you have a healthy pair of eyes!