Ideally, people will see the eye doctor at least once every year. This allows people to keep on top of the eye health, get an eye exam, and allow the doctor to catch any problems that may be starting to emerge. However, for some folks, once annually may not be sufficient as they may have significantly higher needs. For example, people over the age of 50 may find their vision can change quite a bit over the course of a single year. In order to avoid dealing with low-power glasses or significant changes in vision that affects quality of life, patients in this situation should see an optometrist more frequently. The best way to know how frequently to see the doctor is to ask us when you come in for your appointments.
Eight Signs That You Need An Eye Doctor Visit
Here are eight signs that you should consider putting an exam on your calendar soon.
Red or Itchy Eyes
If a patients finds that their eyes are red, dry, and itchy, or if the patient is seeing spots, floaters, or flashes of light this is an important sign that there may be some kind of eye disease, and the patient should schedule an eye exam at the earliest possible convenience.
If a patient, particularly an older patient, finds that they need to hold books or newspapers further away from their face, or have to squint and close one eye in order to read them clearly, this is a sign that the glasses may not be the correct power, or that the patient may need glasses for the first time. In this event it is highly recommended that the patient schedule a visit with the eye doctor immediately.
Diabetes or Other Conditions
Patients with diabetes or other health conditions that affect the eyes need to make sure that they are coming in to see the optometrist on a regular basis. If a patient has a family history of conditions like diabetes or glaucoma, they need to schedule exams more often and if this patient has not been in to see the eye doctor in more than eight months it is possibly time to schedule that appointment now.
One, often ignored symptom, which indicates that a patient needs to come in and see the doctor is, if they have difficulty driving at night or seeing street signs in the dark. Many people choose to ignore this, or simply do not drive at night, but it is an indication that an eye exam is necessary and should not be put off.
Computers, Television and Motion
Another reason to consider coming in to see an optometrist is if a patient is experiencing eye pain, headaches, and blurred vision after spending any amount of time in front of a computer or television screen. Similarly, if the patient gets motion sick, busy, or has trouble following a moving target this is a clear indicator that an eye exam is overdue and should be scheduled immediately.
If a patient cannot remember the last time they saw the eye doctor, it is a good indicator that they should pick up the phone and call us to schedule an appointment today.