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How Often Should You See The Eye Doctor?

 

how-often-should-i-see-the-eye-doctor

How Often Should You See The Eye Doctor?

How often should you see the eye doctor, and what are some good reasons to come in between regular appointments? If you aren’t sure when to schedule your next eye exam, here are some questions to ask yourself:

1. What Does My Age Indicate About My Eye Health?

Depending on your age and risk factors, how often you should have an eye exam will vary. Here at Vision Source Meadville, our doctors recommend that anyone under the age of 18 be seen yearly. As children grow, their vision can change very rapidly. It’s important to keep up with their possibly evolving prescription, as well as watch them for common eye conditions found in children.

After the age of 18, people’s vision usually levels out, and many times we only see these patients every other year, unless they need to renew their contact lens prescription.

Once a patient reaches they age of 50, however, their risk of developing eye health issues such as glaucoma or cataracts begins to increase, and our doctors will ask them to come back once a year.

2. Do I Have A Systemic Condition Or Consistent Eye Health Issue?

Systematic conditions like diabetes and hypertension can negatively impact vision, and need to be monitored at least yearly. Certain prescription medications can also effect your eyes, causing issues like dry eye and high interocular pressure. Your optometrist should be working in tandem with your medical doctor to be sure that your medications don’t damage your eyes or vision.

This is a more obvious one, but if you have a consistent eye health issue like glaucoma or macular degeneration, you’ll need to be examined more frequently, and how often depends on how stable your eye doctor believes your condition to be. If you’ve been diagnosed with a constant eye health problem, chances are your optometrist will put you on a treatment plan that spaces out your visits to a few times a year.

3. Am I Showing Any Signs Of Needing An Eye Exam?

Now you know better how often you should see the eye doctor and some of the risk factors that could increase your appointment frequency, but what if something happens between appointments? Here are a few reasons not to wait until the next one to come see us:

  • Blurred vision: Blurry vision can be the effect of a host of causes, from a prescription change to blood pressure or medication side effects, and anything in between. If your vision changes mildly and gets gradually worse over time, it probably isn’t an emergency, but if your vision blurs suddenly and dramatically, call your eye doctor right away.
  • Frequent headaches: Headaches are often related more to sinus issues rather than your actual eyes, but a small percentage of them can be caused by prescription changes or eye health problems. If you’re having consistent headaches, it’s definitely worth having your eye doctor take a look.
  • Floaters or bright flashes. A few floaters are normal, but if you’ve noticed a bunch of new ones, schedule an appointment right away, particularly if you’re also seeing bright flashes or losing peripheral vision. These are symptoms of retinal detachment, which must be treated as quickly as possible to preserve vision.
  • Light sensitivity. A little light sensitivity usually isn’t a problem, but if it suddenly gets bad, it could indicate an eye infection.
  • Difficulty driving at night. If the road markers and street signs become difficult to see at night, it could be a sign of vision loss or nearsightedness. It could be as simple as needing a stronger prescription, but it could also be a symptom of an eye disease that needs attention.`

 

If you’re a special case and are still wondering how often you should see the eye doctor, give us a call! We’re happy to talk through whatever situation you may be in with your eyes and vision and recommend a plan for your eye appointments.