Scheduling regular eye exams is always a good idea. A “regular” exam varies for each person, but can usually be dictated by age. For children, their first eye exam should be at 6 months with their next visit at 3 years and before first grade. The American Optometric Academy recommends that everyone from six years old to sixty years old should have an eye exam every other year. When turning 60, it is recommended to increase this amount to once a year. If you are “at-risk,” then your doctor’s specific recommendation is important.
What Does It Mean to Be “At Risk?”
Two of the most common factors that contribute to a person being at a higher risk for eye issues are diabetes and hypertension. Each disease can have a severe impact on a person’s eye health. If someone has a family history of macular degeneration or glaucoma, then they should also be considered at a higher risk level. In addition, many prescription medications can have side effect related to the eyes and vision. When on these medicines, it is important to monitor these factors.
When to Throw Out the Schedule
Regardless of being at a higher risk or not, there are many circumstances that warrant not waiting until your next appointment to get to the eye doctor.
You’ve Been Squinting More
Have you noticed that you have been squinting more frequently when reading road signs? This indicates the need for an updated prescription or the need for glasses that may not have been there before. Squinting doesn’t always help and can put you in danger.
Bright Flashes and Floaters
A few floaters may be annoying, but it is not a huge concern. But if you notice a lot of newer ones, make an appointment. If you also experience man new floaters, floaters accompanied by bright flashes, and/or loss of peripheral vision. This could indicate a serious issue called retinal detachment that needs to be treated quickly to avoid blindness.
Frequent headaches, as well as eye infection, are also important reasons to get to your optometrist as soon as possible. Your vision is never worth taking a risk on.