Regular Eye Exams - But What’s “Regular” for You?
How often you need your eyes checked depends on various factors, including age. For children, an exam at six months, three years, and again before first grade (about six years) is recommended.
If you’re between the ages of six and sixty without vision risk factors (more on this in a minute!), you should get an eye exam every other year. After sixty, schedule them every year.
Once a year or every other year: that’s less frequently than you have to take your car in for oil changes. Not bad, especially considering the importance of your eyesight and health!
Now, we mentioned risk factors that could change how often you need an eye exam. These include:
- High blood pressure.
- Family history of glaucoma, macular degeneration, and other eye diseases.
- Use of medication that can impact vision (e.g. by causing dry eye).
- Head injury.
Do You Need an Eye Exam?
Time to see this chart again? Schedule an eye exam and come see us!
First, if you haven’t had an exam for a few years, yes! You would benefit from having an optometrist take a look and make sure your eyes are performing as they should and that there are no signs of vision/health issues.
Sometimes, you may notice some symptoms of vision challenges between regular exams. These include:
- Blurred Vision. This makes objects appear a bit out of focus and not as sharp as they should be. This can affect one or both eyes and be caused by conditions such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, presbyopia (age-related farsightedness), or astigmatism.
- Light Sensitivity. If you find yourself uncomfortable by bright light, sunlight, fluorescent light, or incandescent light, or if light exposure is accompanied by headache, it’s best to schedule an appointment.
- Frequent Headache. By itself, headache does not mean you have vision problems - but it can certainly be a sign that something is going on. This is especially true if you have to stare at a screen all day for work. Headache can also be indicative of more serious eye-related issues.
- Floaters. We all get a few floaters now and again. If you’re experiencing new ones, schedule an appointment. If you notice the loss of peripheral vision accompanying floaters or bright flashes, make an eye exam a priority.
- Difficulty with Night Driving. If it is hard to see road lines or street signs at night, or if you have a difficult time with oncoming lights, you may need a stronger/different prescription for corrective eyewear. It could also be a symptom of eye disease.
- Changes in your vision. This could be increased eye strain; having to hold books and other printed materials further away to see; and red, itchy, or dry eyes. Any changes should be addressed as soon as possible with your optometrist.
Vision care has advanced significantly, and visiting your optometrist regularly - and early, if you are experiencing changes or symptoms - can help you keep your eyes sharp.
Is it time to schedule your eye exam? Give us a call today! Asheville’s most trusted optometrist and eye care specialists are happy to help.