When to Visit the Eye Doctor

Coming up with excuses of why not to get a regular eye exam is easy: too busy, no insurance, need to find a new doctor, and the list goes on and on. But there are many reasons why getting a regular exam is a good idea. The eyes are more than just a window to the soul, they also are a good place to look for signs of trouble brewing in your body such as diabetes or high blood pressure. So when should you see an eye doctor to get a check up and complete vision exam?

Ideally, one eye exam every year should help you to stay on top of your eye health, but some people might need to schedule more than one exam in a year. Vision can change quite a bit over the course of a year, especially for those over the age of 50, and it is important to know when you need to schedule an exam.

Signs you need an eye exam soon:

  • Your eyes are red, dry, itchy, or you are seeing spots, flashes of light, or floaters.
  • You have diabetes or another health condition, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure, that affects your eyes.
  • Your family has a history of conditions like diabetes or glaucoma (you may need exams more often).
  • You can’t remember when you last had an eye exam. If it’s been longer than a year, you’re overdue. Yearly exams are a must for most people.
  • You have difficulty driving at night and seeing street signs in the dark.
  • You experience eye strain, headaches and/or blurred vision after spending an extended amount of time in front of a computer screen.
  • You get motion sick, dizzy, or have trouble following a moving target.
  • You hold books or the newspaper further away from your face and squint or close one eye to read them clearly.
  • You notice changes in your vision, especially after an incident of head trauma.

A regular exam can determine if you have nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism or any of the other eye disorders. Cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration can also be determined with regular eye exams.

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