The back-to-school season tends to signal a lot of hustle and bustle. In between shopping excursions, you’ll probably need to schedule health appointments for the whole family. But in addition to physicals performed by your family doctor or bi-yearly dental examinations from your oral care professional, you may also want to think about putting your latest eye exam on the calendar. It’s especially important for you to have this exam performed if you’ve shown any symptoms that might indicate vision issues. After all, your eye doctor will have a much better chance of diagnosing conditions — and fitting you for new eye glasses or contacts that will help you see more clearly — early on. If you’ve been wondering when you should schedule your eye examination, pay close attention and watch for these five indicators.
You Should Schedule an Exam With Your Eye Doctor If…
- You get headaches frequently: Headaches aren’t always caused by one thing. Stress and muscular tension can lead to headaches, as can allergies and illnesses. But in some cases, vision changes can also cause your head to pound. When the tiny muscles in your eye are working harder to compensate for changes in your vision, eye strain — and subsequent head pain — can result. Even people who get migraines may have underlying eye conditions that need to be addressed. If your headaches have become more frequent or more severe, it may be a good idea to see your eye doctor.
- You’ve noticed changes in your vision: One of the biggest reasons to see your eye doctor is due to observable changes in your vision. We don’t always notice these changes, as they can happen quite gradually. But if you find yourself needing to squint to see a newspaper or screen clearly, are experiencing issues like wavy or double vision, or have difficulty focusing your eyes properly, you shouldn’t wait to make an appointment. And if you already have contacts or glasses but you’re still struggling to see clearly, your eye doctor can assess whether your prescription needs to be amended.
- You can’t see well at night: Many people experience problems with their night vision, but you’ll still need to take this all-too-common issue seriously. If you don’t, you could increase your risk of a road collision or other type of physical accident. Those who have trouble making out road signs, telephone poles, or other road markers should consult an optometrist to ensure they’ll be safe when traveling in the dark.
- You strain your eyes at the computer: We spend several hours a day staring at a screen, so it’s no wonder that many people experience eye issues as a result. While the 20-20-20 rule (looking 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes) can help to reduce eye strain in this scenario, it doesn’t always have the desired effect. If you need to increase the font size after a long day or you keep rubbing your eyes in the hopes of improving your vision and focus at work, your eye doctor may be able to help.
- It’s been a few years since your last eye exam: According to the CDC, 61 million American adults are at high risk for serious vision loss — but only half of those people have visited an eye doctor within the past year. Typically, children should receive an eye exam once per year, while adults should do every two to five years. If you’re more vulnerable to eye issues, you should have an eye exam more frequently. But anyone who has skipped their eye exam for the past half-decade should absolutely schedule one in the coming months. Seniors should prioritize their examinations and have them every one to two years. Essentially, if you don’t remember the year of your last exam from your eye doctor, it’s time to have one.
If these scenarios are familiar to you, there’s no time like the present to schedule your exam. For more information, please contact us today.