The general optometrist recommendation is that everyone should have their eyes tested roughly every two years. If you are concerned with any aspect of your vision, notice any sudden changes or unusual symptoms, speak with a doctor.
Any of the following changes or symptoms relating to your eyes warrant a visit to the doctor, as they could indicate a more serious underlying condition:
- Sudden eye pain
- Sudden changes in vision
- Recurring or ongoing pain in or around the eyes
- Changes in vision such as blurring or double vision
- Flashes of light, or seeing halos around lights
- Floaters in the vision
- Obstruction in your vision
- Photosensitivity (painful or significant sensitivity to light)
- Swollen eyes or eyelid
- Itching, burning, or eye discharge
Anyone can develop sight problems, but those in the higher risk category include:
- 60 years old or more
- Learning disabled
- Family history of eye disease
- Certain ethnic groups (African and Caribbean communities are higher risk for glaucoma and diabetes; south Asian communities for diabetes and diabetic retinopathy)
What to do next
If you are concerned about your eye health, are noticing symptoms, or have a family history of eye problems, a doctor can help you understand your options. Make an appointment to see us today.
It is a good idea to have an annual eye exam, even if your eyes are in good shape, and particularly if your family has a history of eye diseases or problems.
Glaucoma (where normal fluid pressure in the eyes increases), diabetic retinopathy (damage to the retina caused by diabetes), cataracts (cloudiness and hardening in the lens), and macular degeneration (age-related deterioration) are all commonly occurring eye disease, which are more common the older you get.
There are a number of things you can do to protect your eye health. Quitting smoking reduces the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. Regular exercise can keep high blood pressure and diabetes at bay, and keeps your arteries healthy, which can help you reduce the risk of vision loss. Wear sunglasses or wear a wide-brimmed hat in the sun. And protect your eyes when gardening! Even just wearing sunglasses in the garden can help you avoid injury or infection with branches, soil, or pond water.