If you have a busy lifestyle or if you are running a little low on funds (MoneySavingExpert.com has more info on free eye tests), it can be tempting to skip your eye test or to not visit the optometrist as regularly as you should. However, skipping your eye test could be putting your eye health and also your general health at risk. Here is some information about why it is important that you have regular eye tests.
Correct Your Vision
Whilst eye exams may not necessarily be able to improve your natural vision, visiting an optician will help you to take steps to correct the possible problems with your eyesight which can usually be done with glasses, contact lenses or corrective surgery. Correcting your vision with one of these methods will allow you to see more clearly, and can improve your depth perception and coordination. Correcting your vision can also help to prevent eye strain, which may have left your eyes feeling tired.
If you have noticed eyestrain, it is always worth visiting an optician for a check-up. Although some people are apprehensive about getting glasses or contact lenses for the first time, many people soon admit that their quality of life improves once they regain a normal standard of vision.
Spotting Eye Disease
At your eye test, the optician will not only check your vision, but they will also check your eyes for any symptoms relating to common eye diseases. Spotting these diseases as early as possible will give you the opportunity to begin treatment. In many cases you can treat these problems successfully if they are caught early, whereas if these problems have been allowed to progress they may become much harder to treat, and unfortunately much of the time, the effects of these conditions can be permanent.
As well as eye diseases such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and glaucoma (read more on these and other eye conditions here), the optician may spot signs of health issues which may be related to diabetes. If you already know that you suffer from diabetes, it is very important that you have a check-up at least once a year, because secondary complications relating to the illness can lead to serious retina damage and loss of sight.
Unlike many other illnesses, eye-related conditions are rarely painful, and you may not be able to spot any overt physical symptoms without specialist equipment. Therefore these eye exams are the best way to monitor any changes in the physical structure of your eye.
Many people who are not wearing the correct strength of glasses or who do not know that they need glasses in the first place are plagued by dizziness, headaches and even nausea. If these symptoms cannot be explained by any other medical reason, they may be linked to your vision issues, and getting the correct strength of glasses may help to prevent these symptoms. Eyestrain is a common cause of headaches, and mismatches in the strengths of both of your eyes can cause dizziness. If you experience either of these symptoms, it is always worth going for an eye test.
The eyes can also relieve a lot of other health information, including signs of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and indications of brain tumours. Optometrists are also well placed to notice symptoms of other illnesses which are common around the eye, such as skin cancers which may form under the eyes or around the eyelids. In these cases, optometrists will not normally be able to make a diagnosis, but they can advise you to visit your GP for an appointment. This can help you to catch these health problems as early as possible.