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When and why to do an eye test?

“When do I have to do an eye test? Why do I have to do an eye test if my vision seems good? How old should you be for your first eye test?” These are just some of the questions optometrists are asked almost daily. Our primary goal as optometrists is to ensure you have clear, comfortable vision with healthy eyes. Let’s have a look at when it’s a good idea to get an eye test done. 

Generally, it is advisable to get an eye test at least every two years, no matter your age. 

For some clients it is best to check annually, especially people with health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and other eye conditions like glaucoma, macular degeneration and early cataracts. Your optometrist will advise the schedule best suited to you. 

A comprehensive eye examination also includes assessing the health of the eyes and pressure inside the eyes, which is important to rule out conditions that might only start to cause a decrease in vision when the damage has progressed too far and cannot be undone. We aim to prevent this as far as possible.

Have you ever said to yourself “My child doesn’t struggle in school, do I still need to get their eyes tested?” Well, yes indeed. We advise a comprehensive eye examination before kids start school to ensure there are no visual problems that will delay their ability to learn and thrive in school. If there are any concerns with their progress in school, an eye examination is always a good place to start. 

Online school and leisurely screen time can also affect the eyes if not balanced with some time outdoors or other non-digital activities, like art, board games, etc. Balance is key!

If you are wearing spectacles, your optometrist will normally advise to have an eye examination every two years if the prescription still feels sufficient and the lenses are in good condition. If it feels like your vision is becoming blurry again or experience regular headaches or eye strain, an appointment with your optometrist is advised. 

If you have never had any problems with your vision and not had an eye examination before, it is still advised to see an optometrist. There are numerous eye conditions that can start causing damage in the eyes without you noticing it in your vision immediately. Early detection and prevention is always better than cure. 

After the age of 40, a natural process called presbyopia starts to affect the near reading and you feel like “my arms are becoming too short”. Small text up close becomes blurry and more effort is required to read clearly. Annual eye examinations are then advised to monitor the reading prescription and make necessary changes.  

In conclusion, it is never too late to have an eye examination, even if your vision is crystal clear. Most of us use digital screens daily (that includes your cell phone) and can cause the eyes to feel tired and strained at the end of the day. Get your eyes checked to ensure you are seeing all the beauty around you. We care about your eye care!