How long has it been since your last eye exam? A year? Two? Longer?
How often should we be scheduling our eye exams, and what are some good reasons to come in between regular appointments? If you aren’t sure, then you’ve come to the right place, because we’re here to discuss the reasons to schedule an eye appointment and how often everyone should have them!
What Does A “Regular” Eye Exam Mean?
Depending on your age and risk factors, how often you should have an eye exam will vary widely. Children should have their first eye exam around six months old, come back around their third birthday, and again before they start first grade. For patients age six to sixty whose vision health isn’t considered “at-risk,” an eye exam every other year is generally enough. After age sixty, frequency should increase to yearly eye exams. Optometrists will determine the best schedule for at-risk patients.
What Is “At-Risk” Vision?
A few things can increase a person’s chances of developing an eye disease, including diabetes and hypertension (both diseases that can negatively impact vision), as well as a family history of eye diseases like glaucoma or macular degeneration. There are also prescription medications with vision-related side effects such as dry eye, and it’s important to monitor that so it doesn’t lead to other complications like an eye infection. Wearing contact lenses also increases the risk of infections.
5 Signs It’s Time For An Eye Exam
Now you know how often to schedule regular appointments and some of the risk factors that could increase your appointment frequency, but what if something happens between appointments? Here are a few reasons not to wait until the next one to come see us:
- Blurred vision. If your vision is starting to blur, you probably need a new glasses prescription, so come on in!
- Frequent headaches. Many things can cause headaches, including digital eye strain.
- Floaters or bright flashes. A few floaters are normal, but if you’ve noticed a bunch of new ones, schedule an appointment right away, particularly if you’re also seeing bright flashes or losing peripheral vision. These are symptoms of retinal detachment, which must be treated as quickly as possible to preserve vision.
- Light sensitivity. A little light sensitivity usually isn’t a problem, but if it suddenly gets bad, it could indicate an eye infection.
- Difficulty driving at night. If the road lines and street signs become difficult to see at night, it could be a sign of vision loss or nearsightedness. It could be as simple as needing a stronger prescription, but it could also be a symptom of an eye disease.
Don’t Put Off Your Next Visit!
It’s easy to let something that only happens once every other year slip through the cracks, but don’t let that happen with your eye exams! If you can’t remember how long it’s been since your last exam, schedule your next one now. We can’t wait to see you!