Our eyes are one of the most important parts of the body. General medical advice suggests that on average, people should see their optician for a regular check up every two years. At these check up appointments, if any issues are identified which call for a more regular assessment, the practitioner will inform the client and additional consultations can be booked. In the main, an eye test every two years will be adequate for most people.
However, sometimes there are problematic symptoms which begin to affect a person’s vision and general well-being. When an individual begins to experience any of the following symptoms, it is important to book in for an eye test as soon as convenient.
1. Eye degeneration is often associated with old age, but people of all kinds can develop issues with their visual senses. Unfortunately, those over the age of sixty are statistically more likely to struggle with their eyes, as are people from certain ethnic backgrounds and those with eye diseases in their family history.
2. Children too should have an eye test every year, unless the optician suggests that a more regular assessment is required. Problems with a child’s eyesight can be more difficult to detect, as they are unlikely to be able to explain the issues they are experiencing. Through general observations of the child’s behaviour, if they are moving closer to the television or holding items up to their face particularly closely, or you find that they are blinking more than expected and often rubbing their eyes, these are signs of childhood eye problems and an appointment should be made as soon as possible to have these things investigated.
3. The first symptom people commonly notice is a blurring. When this is related to close up items it is an indication of farsightedness, officially termed hyperopia. If a person finds themselves gradually holding books, paperwork or labels closer to their face in order to find a place where they can focus on the text, this is a sign of degeneration and should be examined when possible.
4. On the other hand, poor distance vision is an equally important issue which should be addressed, known medically as myopia. If car number plates have become more difficult to read, or signs on the other side of the road are no longer legible, see an optician for an eye test.
5. Development of difficulties seeing items at both levels of distance can be a sign of an astigmatism, which also needs to be checked by a qualified professional. Should any of these difficulties appear suddenly or only affect one eye, this could be an indication of a physical health issue and should receive attention as soon as possible.
6. More seriously, double vision or the sudden appearance of flashes of light could be symptomatic of complex visual disorders and require attention within a very short space of time.
7. Other symptoms are related to the contrast of light and darkness. If someone finds that they are experiencing increased difficulty in low lighting conditions or are struggling to see at night much more than previously expected, these are good reasons to schedule an examination to check the condition of the eyes.
8. Similarly, if the transition from dark surroundings into light ones has become more challenging or feels like it is taking longer to adjust, this too could indicate degeneration which should be checked by an optician.
9. Another way in which this kind of light sensitivity can manifest is with computer screens. The strong back-lighting of the monitor displays can be problematic for some people, but if this has changed or is becoming increasingly worse then it is something to address with the scheduling of an eye test.
10. Another issue is with seeing ‘halos’ or beams coming from strong light sources in dark areas, such as from streetlamps or vehicle headlamps. If this condition manifests or worsens, the optician will be able to offer advice and see if any of the solutions available might be effective.