Knowing when to book an eye test for yourself isn’t always easy. Perhaps you’ve been getting headaches and put it down to dehydration, or blurry eyes down to tiredness – just two of the things that can happen when it’s time to get your eyes tested. If you’re like most people, you’ll wait until your eye check reminder lands on the doorstep before thinking about visiting your local optician, but how do you know when it’s time to book an eye test for yourself? Although the NHS recommends that you have an eye test every two years, you can book an eye appointment sooner if you suspect there may be a problem.
Here, we’ll take a closer look at when to book an eye test for yourself, and why it’s so important to see your optician for an eye appointment when you suspect there might be something wrong.
1. You’ve been getting headaches more frequently
Headaches can be caused by all manner of things – from dehydration and sinus problems to musculoskeletal problems and more serious conditions. But if you’re getting headaches more frequently, or they change in nature, book an eye appointment with an optician to see if you need spectacles or a change in prescription. It’s also worth booking an appointment with your GP, so they can rule out any other causes of your headaches.
2. Your eyes are dry and/or itchy
Although hayfever season is now coming to an end, you may find your eyes are still dry or itchy. It could be something as simple as an allergy, but it’s best to have an optician look at your eyes to see whether you could have a condition like glaucoma or conjunctivitis. There are also a number of autoimmune conditions that can cause dry eyes, like Sjögren’s Syndrome, so if there’s no explanation of why you’ve been getting dry eyes when you have your eye test results explained, be sure to see a doctor.
3. You’ve been seeing spots, flashes of light or floaters
If you’ve noticed flashes of light or small, dark dots in your line of vision, it’s not always something to worry about. But if floaters, dark patches or flashes of light appear suddenly, there could be a problem with your eye that needs examining by an optician. As we age, a harmless process called posterior vitreous detachment can occur, which is entirely natural, but it’s best to get it checked at an eye appointment with an experienced optician.
4. You have an underlying medical condition that can affect your eyes
If you have an underlying medical condition, like diabetes, then you’ll need to get your eyes tested more frequently. Eye problems caused by diabetes are called diabetic retinopathy, which can lead to sight loss if it’s not discovered early. Other problems that can occur include glaucoma and cataracts, which can negatively impact your ability to see. An eye test can find problems before they affect your sight.
5. Eye diseases run in the family
There are over 350 hereditary ocular diseases such as corneal dystrophies and glaucoma. If other members of your family have eye diseases, then make an eye appointment and mention them to your optician. By letting your optician know about family members with eye diseases, they’ll be able to look specifically for signs of these conditions and intervene if there is a problem, or the likelihood of one developing.
It is easy to take our eye health for granted, but when you have problems with your vision it’s far better to act early rather than leave it to chance. To book an eye test and get optical advice from a professional, please call us at Dominic Tunnell Opticians on 01905 613020 and we will be happy to help.