When was the last time you had your eyes examined? If it’s been more than two years, it’s time you booked another one.
Eye exams are a vital part of our health routine, or at least they should be. Eye exams are often overlooked, but they are an essential part of managing eye diseases, maintaining your vision, and bettering your overall health. To keep your eyes healthy, it is necessary to get regular eye exams.
Keep reading if you don’t know how often you need to have your eyes checked. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about eye exams, what to expect during an exam & what to do if you’re experiencing vision symptoms.
What is an Eye Exam?
Simply put, an eye exam is just a checkup for your eyes. During an eye exam, your eye doctor will:
- Examine your entire visual system
- Update your prescription if you require vision correction
- Check for any signs of common eye diseases
Why Are They Important?
An eye exam is especially important because it gives your eye doctor the chance to detect eye problems at their earliest stage. This increases your chances of successful treatment.
Regular eye exams give your eye care professional a chance to check for signs of issues that could affect your whole body.
What does an Eye Doctor Look For?
During an eye exam, your doctor will do the following:
- Consult your medical history and records
- Evaluate your current visual needs
- Assess your complete optical system
- Test your eyes for common eye conditions and diseases
- Answer any questions you have about your eye health
- Discuss treatment options with you
Signs & Symptoms of Vision Problems
Many signs and symptoms may point to a range of different vision problems. For example, if you experience any of the following symptoms, you may be suffering from an undiagnosed issue:
- Eye pain in or around the eye
- Changes in your vision, including blurred vision or double vision
- Seeing flashes of light or halos around lights
- Unusual sensitivity to light or glare
- Swelling around the eye
- Eye redness
- Sore eyelids
- Changes in the colour of the eye
- Itching, burning, or a heavy discharge in the eyes
When To See A Doctor
You should speak to your eye doctor if:
- You are experiencing severe symptoms
- Your symptoms haven’t gone away on their own after a few days
- You are experiencing symptoms after an injury to the head or face
Book an appointment if you have any concerns about your eye health, regardless of when you last had an exam.
Your eye doctor will always be willing to answer questions and go over treatment plans and recommendations with you.
How Often Should I Get an Eye Exam?
How often you should see your eye doctor depends on the following factors:
- Your age
- Your overall health
- Your risk of developing common eye disorders and diseases.
The First Eye Exam
A child’s first eye examination should occur between the ages of 6 and 9 months. If your child is suffering from any signs or symptoms of vision issues, you should take them to see their eye doctor as soon as possible.
School-aged Children & Adolescents
Starting at age 5 or 6, a child should see their eye doctor regularly. “Regular” means something different for everyone, but it usually means annually or once every two years.
- If a child has good vision and doesn’t suffer from any eye conditions, they should see their eye doctor every 2 years.
- If a child needs to wear glasses or contact lenses or suffers from any eye conditions, they should see their eye doctor every year.
If you are healthy and have no signs or symptoms of vision problems, the Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO) recommends having an eye exam every 2 years.
If any of the following apply to you, your eye doctor will recommend that you have your eyes checked more often:
- You wear glasses or contact lenses and need your prescription updated
- You have a history of eye disease or vision issues in your family
- You have other health issues that increase your risk of eye disease, such as diabetes
- Take certain medications, like antihistamines or antidepressants that have side effects that affect your eyes
Once you are over 65, the CAO recommends seeing an eye doctor at least once a year.
How do I Book an Eye Exam?
You can book an eye exam by contacting your eye doctor or booking an appointment online.
If you have any questions regarding eye exams or your overall eye health, we would be happy to hear from you today!