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5 Signs You Should Have Your Eyes Checked by an Optometrist

patient at eye exam with optometrist

There are at least 2.2 billion cases of vision impairment worldwide. Half of them could have been prevented with proper care. Have you wondered, "how often should I get my eyes checked?" It depends on your age and medical history. School-aged children and seniors over 65 years old should visit the optometrist annually for an eye examination. Adults should see an eye doctor every two to three years. Certain conditions, including diabetes and a family history of eye conditions, mean more frequent appointments. Deciding when to have your eyes checked depends on your age, current symptoms, and overall health. Read on for five signs it may be time to schedule an optometrist appointment.


Frontal headaches are a sign that you may need reading glasses or that your current prescription is too strong. Ocular migraines come with auras. You may experience blurry vision and zigzag or shiny spots. They last approximately 20 minutes before the pain starts. Headaches with visual symptoms can also indicate other problems such as: • Retinal tears • Lack of blood supply to the retina or optic nerve • Optic neuritis • Strokes See an optometrist to rule out these serious conditions.

Seeing Halos, Floaters, or Flashers

Keep note of visual disturbances such as floaters or flashers. One of the most serious is halos. These bright circles around light sources are a sign of cataracts, the leading cause of blindness.

Dry Eye

Thirty percent of Canadians experience dry eye symptoms. It may cause you to rub your eyes all day without realizing why. The sooner you get to the optometrist, the sooner you can find relief. Your eye's tear film protects the exterior and helps you blink. Dry eye occurs when it doesn't work as well as it should. Several conditions can cause it, including: • Rheumatoid arthritis • Diabetes • Inflamed skin • Hormone fluctuations Antihistamines and anxiety medications can also affect the tear film. Other causes of dry eye include dehydration and vitamin A deficiency. Your environment also determines your risk. Dry eye is more common in smoky, hot, and over-airconditioned rooms. You can also get "computer vision syndrome" from too much screen time. An optometrist may recommend artificial tears or prescription eye drops. They may also suggest changing your screen time habits to prevent digital strain.

Blurry or Double Vision

Double vision causes you to see copies of everything you look at. Blurry vision makes everything hazy. If you're deciding when to visit an optometrist, consider how long these symptoms last. If you're experiencing them both at once, this could indicate a serious issue.

Experiencing Eye Pain and Fatigue

Shifting your eyes from close-up to far-away objects can cause eye fatigue. This should go away after a few minutes, but you should see the optometrist if it lasts all day. You may also experience severe eye pain from an underlying condition, improper prescription, or other issues. Use these symptoms to decide when to have your vision checked to protect your eye health.

How Often Should I Get My Eyes Checked?

Have you ever wondered, "how often should I get my eyes checked?" The general answer is every one to two years after childhood. The reality is your eye exam appointments depend on factors such as your age, medical history, and current symptoms. Knowing when to visit an optometrist is essential for your eye health. Look for symptoms such as headaches, dry eye, halos, blurry or double vision, and eye pain and fatigue. Eye Health Centres has a team of optometrists ready to diagnose and treat your vision with comprehensive eye examinations in Calgary (Kensington & Shawnee) and Regina. Contact us to book an appointment today and protect your eyes.


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