Why Do We Need Regular Eye Tests?

testing room

When it comes to an eye test, there’s much more to it than meets the eye. These tests play a big part in ensuring that your eyes stay healthy which is not only crucial for indicating whether you need to start wearing glasses or change your prescription, but to detect common eye conditions such as cataracts, cloudy vision and floaters. With this in mind, the importance of annual eye testing goes well beyond just making sure your vision isn't blurry.

In this blog post, we outline some of the reasons why eye exams are so important and why you should have annual eye exams to safeguard your health and wellness. Read on to find out more about why eye testing is so important.

Why are regular eye tests so important?

It's pretty easy to neglect your eyes; this is because they don’t necessarily hurt when there is a problem. Having an eye test will not only tell you if you need a new pair of glasses or a change of prescription, it's also important to monitor your eye health. An optician can spot many general health issues and early signs of eye conditions before you're even aware of them, many of which can be treated if found early enough.

How frequent should I have an eye test?

The NHS advises that you get your eyes tested every 2 years (more often if recommended by your ophthalmic practitioner or optometrist).

Are some people more likely to develop an eye disease than others?

Some people do tend to be more at risk than others. It's particularly important to have regular eye tests if you're:

  • Over 60
  • From various ethnic groups which pose a higher risk – people from African-Caribbean communities are at greater risk of developing glaucoma and diabetes, and people from south Asian communities are also at greater risk of developing diabetes (diabetic retinopathy, where the retina becomes damaged, is a common complication of diabetes)
  • Those with learning disabilities
  • If you are from a family with a history of eye disease

Eye exams support children in school

The majority of learning that children do in and outside the classroom requires good eyesight so taking this into consideration, the chances are this should be revised upward because of the ever-increasing amount of screen time kids are increasingly exposed it.

An annual eye exam is the best way to ensure your child has clear vision and can comfortably learn in the classroom. It’s also the best way to know for sure if your child is seeing their best for sports and other fun outdoor activities as well.

Getting by day to day is no substitute for an eye test

More often than not, adults tend to think they see perfectly because they pass a number-plate test in their driving lesson or can read their morning newspaper without (too much) trouble. Frequently, neither of these assumptions are right. Vision screenings are put in place to screen out individuals who have serious, often glaringly obvious vision problems. Screenings can help to discover clearly apparent problems a person might have with certain visual tasks, such as seeing a whiteboard clearly in the classroom or recognising road signs and other objects while driving. Only a comprehensive eye exam by an optician (optometrist or ophthalmologist) can ensure your vision is as clear and comfortable as possible - and that you don’t have any potentially serious eye diseases without any obvious early symptoms, including glaucoma and or even eye cancer.

Vision can prevent a range of illnesses

Early treatment is critically important to prevent some fairly common eye diseases from causing permanent vision loss or blindness:

  • Cataracts (clouding of the lens), the leading cause of vision loss
  • Diabetic retinopathy (causes damage to blood vessels in the back of the eye)
  • Glaucoma (a disease that damages the optic nerve)
  • Age-related macular degeneration (the gradual breakdown of light-sensitive tissue)

You may not realise it but a great many people first learn about serious health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and even cancer from a routine eye test. Eyes are often referred to as ‘the window to our soul.’ But perhaps a more suitable term would be the windows to our overall health.

During an eye test, your optician can look at and evaluate the health and condition of the blood vessels in your retina, which are a good indicator of the health of blood vessels throughout your body.

Illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension and hypercholesterolemia all are detectable through changes in the appearance of the retinal blood supply and blood vessels.

Annual eye tests are especially important for those with diabetes or who might be at risk for the disease (due to family history or other reasons).

More than four million people in the UK have diabetes and another seven million who have prediabetes are at risk of developing diabetic eye disease, the leading cause of blindness among adults. In its early stages, diabetic eye disease tends to have no visible symptoms; only a comprehensive eye test will be able to detect signs of the disease so treatment can begin soon enough to prevent any additional damage.

Developmental Issues - detected

During our earliest years, uncorrected vision problems can lead to both learning and reading difficulties and as children don’t necessarily know what regular vision looks like, it’s likely that they may not complain of having visual problems.

It’s therefore important that children regularly have their eyes checked to ensure any hidden vision problems are treated and there are no adverse effects in the classroom.

Sight deteriorates with age

It is completely natural for the quality of our eyesight to deteriorate as we get older, changes to our vision commonly occur in our forties. It’s important to have your eyes tested regularly when reaching this age as early diagnosis is extremely beneficial in managing age-related conditions effectively.

You only get one pair of eyes - take care of them

Perhaps an obvious one but absolutely true! Sight is one of our most important senses and you cannot take it for granted. As mentioned earlier, many eye conditions do not have symptoms and can therefore have a long-term negative impact on the eyes without proper identification and treatment. It’s therefore imperative that we do not neglect our vision and make booking an eye test - a priority.

David Paul Opticians - we offer eyecare, eyewear and eye tests

Are you looking for a thorough eye test? It is essential that you invest time to make sure that your vision and your eyes are healthy. Regular eye tests are of vital importance to your vision and your overall health. At David Paul Opticians, we offer more than just standard sight tests. Our experts can conduct a range of different examinations that can be included in your test. Our optometrist will tailor eye examinations to your individual requirements.

Here at David Paul Opticians, we offer a range of professional eye care services in Berkhamsted as well as quality optical products and eye tests. With our dedicated service and a wide range of men’s and women’s glasses, we pride ourselves on gaining a fantastic reputation as expert opticians. Get in touch to find out more.