Receiving regular comprehensive eye exams are essential to clear and healthy vision. Comprehensive eye exams go beyond simply measuring visual acuity—they assess the health of your eyes and give insight into your overall health. According to the American Optometric Association, optometrists can detect more than 270 serious health conditions including diabetes, high blood pressure, autoimmune diseases, and cancers all through eye exams. Here are some instances in which you should visit your optometrist:
1. If You Experience a Sudden Change in Your Vision
If you experience blurriness, double vision, blind spots, halos, dimness in your vision or any other sudden vision changes you should see your eye doctor right away. These symptoms could be a sign of an eye disease or injury and if left untreated could cause permanent sight damage.
2. If You Get Something in Your Eye
Getting debris in your eyes such as dirt, sand, chemicals, or large objects can cause eye irritation and even permanent damage to your eye. If this occurs, immediately flush out your eyes with cool, clean water for at least 15 minutes. If you are unable to remove the object, or if the irritation continues, contact your optometrist.
Tip #1: Try looking the opposite direction as the irritation.
If you are unable to see the irritant it may be on a part of your eye that isn’t visible. Try rotating your eye by looking in the opposite direction to remove it.
Tip #2 Wash your hands before touching your eyes.
Before touching your eyes, make sure to wash and rinse your hands thoroughly with water and oil-free soap. This will remove any dirt or bacteria that could lead to an eye infection.
Tip #3: Don’t rub your eyes.
Never rub or use objects such as cotton swabs or tweezers near your eyes, which can scratch your eyes causing more damage and irritation. Instead try blinking or using artificial tears to rinse them out.
3. If You Are Experiencing Prolonged Eye Irritation
If you suffer from continuous eye strain, headaches, blurred vision, or other eye irritations you should express these issues to your eye doctor. While infrequent occurrences of these symptoms are no reason to panic, if they persist it may be a result of a more serious underlying condition.
4. If You Have Difficulties Driving or Seeing at Night
Night blindness or difficulty seeing at night is a key indicator that your vision is changing. Your Shopko Optical optometrist will be able to assess if your night blindness is a result of an eye disease or just normal aging and discuss appropriate treatment options.
5. If You Are Diagnosed With an Eye Condition
If you have an eye condition such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, or cataracts you will need to be seen more frequently. Your optometrist will outline a personalized treatment plan to treat and monitor your disease based on your specific symptoms and condition.
6. If You Are Experiencing Increased Eye Redness, Discharge or Swelling
These symptoms might be a result of an eye infection and you should schedule an exam right away. Trying to self-diagnose an eye infection can delay healing and may lead to more serious vision damage. If possible, try to avoid wearing your contact lenses until you can be seen by your optometrist for a diagnosis.
7. Generally, You Should Get Your Eyes Checked Once a Year
Your eyesight can improve or worsen over your lifetime, which is why it’s essential to get your eyes checked regularly. An annual comprehensive eye exam is the best way to monitor your vision changes as well as detect and treat eye diseases like glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts and more to help preserve your vision.
Regular visits to the optometrist are essential to your vision and eye health. Whether it is because of a sudden vision change, age-related decline or just an annual visit, your Shopko Optical optometrist will provide you with specialized care that meets your individual needs.
Experts in Personalized Care
Our optometrists will utilize the latest technology and best practices to develop individualized treatment plans tailored to your specific vision needs and lifestyle