Published on February 15, 2024

The importance of regular eye exams: What you need to know

Regular eye exams are a crucial aspect of maintaining not just your vision but your overall health. Despite the importance of annual eye exams, many people think they don’t need to schedule them, leading to avoidable vision and health issues. 

Let’s explore the benefits of regular eye exams and how often you should get your eyes checked if you wear glasses, are an adult, have children, or if you need to monitor your vision due to certain conditions, such as diabetes.

The benefits of regular eye exams

Consistent eye examinations serve a fundamental role in monitoring changes in visual acuity and health. By frequently assessing your eyes, optometrists can track even the slightest alterations, ensuring that any necessary adjustments to vision correction are made as quickly as possible.

Another benefit of regular eye exams is the early detection and treatment of eye diseases, including glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration. Early diagnosis often leads to more effective treatments, preserving your vision and preventing further harm to your eyes. Furthermore, eye exams can also reveal signs of other health problems like diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension, making them a vital component of your overall health monitoring.

The frequency of eye exams

The frequency of eye exams largely depends on your age, health condition, and whether you wear corrective lenses. As a general guideline, the Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends that adults between the ages of 18 and 64 who don’t wear glasses and experience no noticeable vision problems have an eye exam at least every two years as a means of preventative care.

You may be asking yourself how often you should get your eyes checked if you wear glasses. You might need to visit an optometrist more frequently if you use eyewear or contact lenses to see. Having an eye exam every 1-2 years is generally recommended.

Note that the frequency should increase as you age, especially after 40. As you age, your eyes undergo natural changes, some of which can lead to serious vision impairments if not monitored regularly. An annual eye exam provides an opportunity for eye care professionals to detect subtle changes in your vision and eye health that you might not have noticed.

The importance of childhood eye exams

During their early years, your child’s vision plays an important role in their cognitive, physical, and social development. Vision problems can greatly interfere with their ability to learn and interact with their surroundings, which can have lasting effects on educational and social outcomes. 

Children's eyes are constantly developing, and eyesight issues can arise at any stage. Regular eye exams are the most reliable way to ensure that children's eyesight is developing correctly and to promptly address any issue, such as lazy eye, nearsightedness, farsightedness and even astigmatism.

Many healthcare professionals suggest that comprehensive eye exams for kids should start at 6 months, then at age 3, and before starting school.

Eye exams for diabetics

Diabetes significantly impacts various organs, including the eyes. Regular eye exams for diabetics are crucial because diabetes can lead to a wide range of eye problems, some of which can result in vision loss if not detected and treated early. 

One of the most serious eye conditions caused by diabetes is diabetic retinopathy, where high blood sugar levels cause damage to the blood vessels in the retina. If you have diabetes, regular eye exams are crucial.

Where to go for an eye check-ups

The importance of a regular eye check-up cannot be underestimated. Optometrists are qualified to perform eye exams. Optometrists can handle most routine eye care and prescribe glasses or contact lenses, while ophthalmologists are medical doctors who can also perform eye surgery and treat more complex eye conditions.

Don't wait for symptoms to appear before scheduling your next eye exam. Your eyes and overall health will thank you for it. Schedule your next annual eye exam with Tris Coffin