An eye exam is not just a way to keep you seeing at your best, but a vital health check which can detect a wide range of health conditions.
During this week’s Healthy Eyes Awareness Week (18 – 24 January) people have been encouraged to pledge to have regular eye exams as part of a healthy lifestyle. Members of the public, opticians and the Health Minister Leo Varadkar have all joined in to show their support.
Research shows that only 20% of people are aware of the eye diseases they might be susceptible to. Many eye diseases have no obvious symptoms in their early stages and early detection is important to prevent avoidable sight loss.
But how do you know if it’s time to get your eyes examined?
Kevin Harrington, optometrist and member of The Federation of Ophthalmic and Dispensing Opticians (FODO) Ireland, has provided top tips on how to take better care of your eye health.
I can see fine and my eyes don’t hurt so why do I need an eye test?
An eye test is not just to determine if you need glasses or contact lenses, it is a vital health check. Many eye conditions do not show any signs or symptoms in the early stages. Their early detection can lead to the prevention of avoidable sight loss.
How often do I need an eye test?
You should have an eye test every 2 years, unless you become aware of problems or if otherwise advised by your optician.
What should I do if I notice a change in my sight?
If you notice any changes in your vision or in the appearance of your eyes or you experience any pain or discomfort in your eyes, you should see your optician.
What else can I do to look after my eyes?
Look after your health – smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, poor diet and lack of exercise can increase your risk of developing an eye disease.
Do my children need regular eye tests?
Yes, children do most of their learning through what they see. Poor vision can cause problems for them in how and what they learn.