How often should I have my eyes examined?

As opticians, one of our most frequently asked questions is ‘how often do I need to get my eyes tested.’ It’s extremely important to get your eyes examined by a qualified optometrist, but how often is actually quite a complex question.

Everyone should have a regular eye health check-up and the NHS recommends one every two years. It’s easy to forget about getting our eyes checked and many people neglect to take proper care of their eyes because a lot of common conditions associated with our eyes don’t have any pain or outward signs or symptoms.

Our comprehensive eye examinations will not only tell you if you require spectacles to correct your vision, but we also check the overall health of your eyes. Which means we can detect some general health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure, often before you experience any symptoms. Many of these conditions when detected early can be easily treated and managed.

Although the health service recommends an eye test every two years, there are certain groups of people who should attend check ups more regularly. These include people who have an eye condition or general health complaint which needs monitoring more frequently, for example if you have glaucoma or diabetes. If there is a history of eye conditions within the family, it is also important to have regular eye health check ups. Your optometrist may request more frequent appointments, if they have particular concerns about the health of your eyes, or if you suffer from particular complaints which need more frequent monitoring.

Children and people with additional needs should have regular eye examinations as they are often less aware of issues regarding their sight. For example, a child needing a spectacle correction may not realise that the world around them isn’t normally a bit fuzzy. People with additional needs can’t always explain any difficulties they may be having with their sight, but an optometrist will be able to perform specialist tests which can detect issues without needing a lot of communication.

Above all the most important thing to remember with your eye health is that if you are experiencing any issues with your vision or symptoms of pain, flashing lights or floaters, you shouldn’t wait until your next regular eye health check. In these instances, it’s wise to book an appointment to see your optician as soon as possible.

So the top tips for good eye health are:

  1. Regular comprehensive eye examinations as advised by your optometrist
  2. Stop smoking
  3. Eat lots of leafy green vegetables
  4. Minimise your alcohol consumption
  5. Protect your eyes from UV light by wearing sunglasses
  6. If you have any concerns, contact your optometrist for an immediate appointment

And one last tip is to rest your eyes and follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look 20 meters away from whatever you were focusing on, and blink 20 times. It’s a great trick to help prevent eye strain.

It’s National Eye Health Week from 23 – 29 September, so there’s never been a better time to raise awareness of the importance of regular eye tests. You can read more about the initiative here.

If you are overdue an eye examination, or are experiencing changes in your vision, please give us a call on 01858 433 577 and we can arrange for an eye health check-up with our optometrist Tim. Alternatively, fill out our online appointment booking form, or pop into our shop on Manor Walk in Market Harborough and we can get you booked in for an eye test.

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