08 December, 2020
With the rush of our daily lives, it’s easy for routine tasks to slip your mind. You may forget to take the garbage out on bin night or you might forget to return that phone call or text. But one thing you may wish to never forget is to schedule an eye test.
Regardless of physical condition or age, it is recommended to have an eye exam at least every 2 years if you have no issues or every year if you do.
Why should I test every 2 years if there are no problems?
There are certain eye conditions such as glaucoma that have no symptoms in the early stages, by the time symptoms develop the condition can already be quite advanced. The earlier any condition is detected the more effectively and easily it can be managed.
What types of eye conditions are there?
While there are many various conditions that can occur with the eyes, some of the more serious conditions include:
Cataracts is a condition which causes clouding of the clear lens in the eye and is one of the leading causes of vision impairment.
Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes where the tiny blood vessels in the retina at the back of the eye become damaged and begin to leak blood and other fluids, which can lead to vision loss.
Glaucoma is an eye condition which is characterised by damage to the optic nerve and retina, causing progressive vision loss. Peripheral vision is generally affected first, which is why many people are unaware that they have the condition in the early stages. As the disease progresses the vision becomes increasingly restricted until central vision is also lost.
Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in Australia with 1 in 7 people over the age of 50 affected to some degree, while incidences increase with age. Macular degeneration causes loss of central vision such that simple tasks such as reading a book, looking at your phone or recognising a person’s face becomes impossible.
All of those conditions usually happen to older people – why should I test if I am younger than 40?
Eye problems can present at any age or physical fitness level and for that reason Optometry Australia suggests a child’s first eye test be conducted starting at 6 months of age, followed by an exam at 3 years and then another at the age of 6 years.
This recommendation is made mainly because impaired vision can severely impact a child’s academic and social development. Children today, have started using digital devices even before they start walking. Extended use of these screens can cause eye strain or tiredness, which can impact children’s vision.
There is a close correlation between the use of digital devices and the significant increase in myopia among children in the world. This makes eye exams for children essential to identify and treat vision problems as soon as they arise. While vision screenings are helpful to identify children who already have significant myopia, they aren’t sensitive enough to identify all conditions and diseases, which may impact children’s learning during his or her formative years.
Myopia or short sightedness, which is the inability to see clearly in the distance, can progress quickly in the teenage years, which is why it’s important to have regular eye examinations. Early intervention and remediation can greatly slow if not stop the progression of myopia, which can affect all aspects of a teenager’s life including their studies at school or university; their job; even their social life or ability to play sport.
If they need help with their vision, there are all sorts of solutions – from regular glasses to prescription sunglasses, contact lenses, orthokeratology and even prescription goggles.
Age Bracket 20 – 40:
Regular eye exams are essential as adults and this age group is not immune to serious eye-related issues. Eye examinations can easily identify common causes of vision loss which can be prevented or reduced with early detection from regular eye tests.
The 40s is when most people first notice changes to their vision namely increasingly blurred near vision. It is also the time when many people first need reading glasses. At this stage of life, changes to your vision are a natural part of the ageing process, so it’s important to have your eyes tested regularly, and with an early diagnosis most age-related conditions can be managed effectively.
Your body goes through many changes during pregnancy, and your eyes can be affected too. Fluctuations in hormone levels can lead to dry eyes for example vision which in most cases will often disappear after childbirth. However, other symptoms such as blurred vision, temporary loss of vison, spots or auras are more serious and require further investigation. It’s recommended to get your eyes tested with an optometrist if any of these symptoms arise, just in case they are due to something other than hormonal changes.
And there you have it – some very good reasons on why it’s important to regularly schedule an eye test as part of your routine health check-ups.
Even if you think you have perfect vision, a regular eye examination can be one of the best things you can do to protect your health and wellness. Book an appointment at your local EyeQ practice.
Our contact lens provider Alcon is experiencing delays fulfilling orders due to a cyber-security incident involving their freight partner, Toll Group. These delays are across their entire network of optical retailers in Australia. We apologise for an inconvenience caused and encourage you to contact your local EyeQ practice for any urgent requirements.