How Often Should You See an Optometrist?
We know that we should be visiting our physician at least once a year, but we often neglect scheduling a visit to the optometrist. Even if you don't have any issues with your eyes, it's important to get regular checkups for your eyes. This part of our bodies is something we often overlook.
So Then How Often Should You Visit?
If you have healthy eyes and you don't wear contacts or glasses, how often you visit your optometrist really comes down to your eyes. If you're under the age of 40, you should make an appointment every five years. From 40 to 54, you should see your eye doctor every two to four years. From that point on, a visit every one to two years is recommended.
But there are other factors to consider when thinking about how often you should visit. For example, if you have a family history of eye problems, you should be visiting your optometrist more frequently. If you have diabetes or eye conditions like glaucoma, you should also make sure you schedule more frequent visits.
What If You Wear Glasses or Contacts?
If you depend on corrective lenses or contact lenses to help with your vision, you want to visit your optometrist more often. You want to make sure that your vision isn't progressively getting worse. You want to identify that there may be a problem ahead of time.
You also want to make sure that you get proper adjustments for your corrective lenses or contacts. Your vision will naturally get worse throughout the years. You want to make sure that your corrective lenses or contacts reflect the changes to your vision. Not doing so will result in unnecessary eye strain.
Consider Your Occupation
Certain occupations will pose a bigger risk to your eyes. For example, welders and chemists work in hazardous conditions. Welding exposes you to bright sparks that flicker for extended periods of time. This can be straining to your eyes. While chemists and lab workers wear protective gear, there are still risks.
Chemists and lab workers deal with various chemicals that may not easily wash out of hands or clothes. A simple mistake where there are remnants of chemicals on a worker's hands can lead to the chemicals getting onto the worker. And of course, this increases the chance of it getting into the eyes.
Radiation exposure is a major risk to the eyes of healthcare professionals who frequently work with x-rays. To mitigate this risk, Barrier Technologies has developed a large inventory of leaded eyewear. Their lead glasses protect the eyes from 100% of scatter radiation.
But by far, the most common high-risk occupation is people that work on computers. Millions of people have a job where they need to spend countless hours in front of computers or laptops. This can cause a lot of eye strain, and that eye strain can lead to damage over time.
How Technology Affects the Eye Health of Young People
And as technology is becoming commonplace in our society, even children and young adults are exposed to damaging blue light and bad eye health habits. They are constantly in front of smartphones, tablets, computer screens, big-screen TVs. Many are glued onto the screens for hours.
It's no wonder that an increasing number of younger people need corrective lenses. Even if young people don't show signs of having any vision problems, they are increasing their chances of developing problems later down the road. So while the frequency of optometrist appointments still stands, it's probably a smart idea to visit more often than the recommendations if you're a parent raising a child or young adult.
The bottom line is that you should not neglect a visit to your local optometrist's office. Most people report that it's been very long since their last visit. Don't wait until you start experiencing issues with your eyes to make an appointment. Be proactive about your eye health. Use the information outlined in this article to determine how often you should be seeing your doctor.