People stick to their doctor’s appointments. They may do it with disdain, but most will routinely hit the dentist, as well. Massages? Check. But when’s the last time you had your eyes checked?
I thought so.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, everyone should have a complete eye exam by the time they are 40. However, the need and frequency can vary. Health history, age, and even gender can play a role.
What do eye doctors look for? Aside from assessing essential components of vision like how clearly you can see (visual acuity), where your eyes are looking when you focus on one spot (eye alignment), and how fast muscles move your eyes around (eye movement), they look for signs of eye diseases like:
- Potential complications from high blood pressure or diabetes
So, if you haven’t been to the ophthalmologist in a while, or aren’t sure if you should go, here are some signs that indicate it’s time.
You can’t remember the last time you went. Most eye diseases have no symptoms at first and can quickly go unnoticed. But they can worsen over time, and delaying treatment may make them harder to treat. Like other diseases, early diagnosis for eye disease can go a long way.
Some people are at high risk for eye disease and don’t even know it. If you fall into one of the following categories, a trip to the eye doctor is a good idea:
- Have a family history of eye disease
- Are diabetic
- Have a job that is hard on the eyes, like looking at a computer/screen all day
- Wear contact lenses
- You experience continually worsening sight
If your vision is getting worse and you’re having a hard time reading text on screens, road signs, etc., a trip to the eye doctor is recommended. Any other eye problems like pain, redness, floaters, or halos should also prompt an appointment.
So if you’ve been on the fence, or the idea of seeing an ophthalmologist has been totally off your radar, it’s probably a good idea to have your eyes checked.