Tell-tale that signs you need your eyes checked

Regular eye tests are an important part of keeping your vision in check, and for most adults that usually means seeing the optician every couple of years.

But if you spot a significant change to your sight it’s important to get it looked at rather than wait for your next regular appointment.

Dan Edwards, Patrick & Menzies Partner and Dispensing Optician, said: “There are lots of reasons that lead to people booking an eye test, but if your vision is different to normal you really should get it checked out.”

Common concerns

One of the most common symptoms of late is eye strain or tired eyes which can often be caused by spending long hours looking at a screen. Although everything may look clear you may need to strain to keep focus and your optician can often prescribe glasses to help with this. Focusing on something up close can lead to headaches, too, because tension builds up across the forehead and temples.

Dry eyes – leaving your eyes feeling gritty and uncomfortable and looking a little red – may also be an indicator that you need an optician’s appointment.

And, if you need to screw your eyes up to focus it can be a sign that things are starting to go blurry. You might not even notice you are doing it, but because you are screwing up your eyes you may find you are getting a slight headache or tension.

Obstructions

Floaters – often caused by debris such as dust or bits of eyelash in the tear layer on the front of the eye – are very common. They look transparent and keep moving, following the direction of your gaze.

However, floaters are more concerning when they are darker in colour and are more permanent and defined.

Dan explained: “Nine times out of ten they are nothing to be concerned about but we can put people’s minds at rest. If you have had floaters like that for a number of years it is likely that is normal for you and not necessarily a concern, although if you have never seen an optician about them, you should probably consider it. However, if you experience a sudden onset of floaters, or get a noticeable change or increase in the number of floaters you can see, that’s when you should book a, examination.”

If you notice a different sort of obstruction to your vision such as something which looks like a curtain or cobweb, it might indicate something more serous and you need to book a consultation as soon as possible.

Grumpy children!

Changes to a child’s vision can be harder to spot either because they are unable to put it into words or because they find ways to adapt to the change.

Difficulty focussing can make them unusually grumpy, not want to do their work or complain that their eyes feel uncomfortable, it’s a good indicator that it’s time for a test.  Children normally should be seen each year, even if they are not having any obvious problems. Sometimes more frequently if they have glasses, your optician will recommend the correct interval.

Getting back on track

Measures put in place during the Covid-19 pandemic to keep everyone safe limited the number of people who could be seen over the course of an average week, which means lots of people may now find themselves overdue for a test.

Those with conditions such as glaucoma or diabetes, who would usually have a check-up every year, should arrange an appointment to make sure there are no changes to their vision or eye health.

If you are worried about your vision please do contact us to book an appointment. Get in touch however you prefer | telephone, email or in person!