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BLOG - Why are regular eye tests so important?

BLOG - Why are regular eye tests so important?

It’s recommended everyone attends a routine eye examination every two years – but why?

Your level of vision may well have changed within the 2 years since your previous eye exam. Think as well about the lifestyle changes that can occur within that period, especially with the lockdown we’ve experienced this year. Maybe you’re working from home or at a computer much more than you used to, which might mean you’re using your vision differently. Where before you might’ve worn glasses mainly for driving, now you need to focus on a screen.


During intense periods of concentration, you may find yourself suffering from eyestrain. This is a common condition that you may encounter when your eyes get tired from prolonged use, such as driving long distances or staring at computer screens and other digital devices. If this is a problem you’ve regularly encountered, it’s recommended that you contact your optometrist.

When you attend an eye examination your optometrist measures your level of vision and carries out a “refraction” to determine whether your vision can be improved with new glasses. There are lots of conditions and changes to your eye health which can only be detected during an eye exam.

Your optometrist may recommend you attend more frequently than 2 years: for example, if you are under 16, over 60 or have diabetes. At any time, if you notice any sudden changes in your eye sight it is vital you do not delay in contacting your optometrist. This could be a sign of an underlying problem with the health of your eyes which may require urgent treatment.

In Scotland the cost of your eye exam is covered by the NHS, so your routine eye exams are free.

Even if you don’t currently wear glasses there are several benefits of attending routine eye examinations.


1) To check your vision

It is especially important to get your vision checked regularly if you:

Drive
Your optometrist will be able to advise you if you currently meet the DVLA vision standards required for driving and whether you require to wear glasses to meet this.
Ensuring your glasses prescription is up to date means you have the best level of vision possible for driving, reducing eye fatigue and glare when driving at night.

Use computers
Even small changes to your glasses prescription can cause eye strain and headaches whilst spending prolonged periods of time using computers.

Are a child
Children’s eyes are still developing so it is crucial to ensure your child has the best vision possible to allow their eyes to develop to their full potential.
It can be particularly difficult to tell how well young children can see! Your optometrist has child friendly tests available to measure their vision.

Have noticed a change in your vision
If your change in vision is gradual it is important to attend your eye examination, your optometrist will be able to advise on the best spectacle correction to improve your vision.

2) To check the health of your eyes

As part of routine eye examinations, the optometrist will also carry out several important health checks and be able to advise on any treatment required.

Measuring your “intra ocular pressure” (pressure within the eye) - It is important to get this checked regularly if you are aged 40 or over as raised pressure in the eye can be the first sign of an eye condition called glaucoma. In most cases of raised pressure there are no symptoms, therefore the only way it can be detected is by attending an eye examination. If left untreated it can lead to glaucoma, an eye condition where there is gradual damage to the optic nerve ultimately leading to “tunnel vision”.

Checking the eyelids and surface of your eyes for conditions such as cysts and blepharitis, as well as dry eye or infection. They can also check the lens in your eye for signs of cataract.

Some general health conditions can be detected through changes in the eyes. For example, diabetes and high blood pressure can cause changes to the blood vessels in the retina. If your optometrist notices anything of concern they can refer you on to your GP.


3) To enhance your lifestyle

Your optometrist will ask about your occupation and hobbies so they can give personalised recommendations of the best options to suit your needs.

For example, they can advise on contact lenses to suit your prescription and lifestyle. Contact lenses are a great option to give you freedom from your glasses for sports or social use.

For glasses, your optometrist will recommend the best lens options to suit your lifestyle and prescription, ensuring all your visual requirements are met. For example, if you regularly drive long distances at night your optician might be able to recommend a lens designed to make driving more comfortable.

As well as a stylish accessory, sunglasses also play an important role in your eye care. It’s important to protect your eyes from UV light to reduce the risks of developing eye conditions such as cataract and macular degeneration. We offer a great range of both prescription and non-prescription sunglasses so you can be stylish whilst protecting the health of your eyes.


Right now, our additional safety measures are in place to ensure you can visit us safely for your eye exams, given how important they are for your overall eye health. Book yours today.