Eye tests refer to the comprehensive eye examinations performed by skilled professionals known as optometrist or ophthalmologist. For adults, it is recommended to have their eyes checked every two years whether they need vision correction or not.
Regular eye examinations ensure that your eye health is fine and any vision-related issues are spotted ahead of time. Even if you don’t feel the obvious symptoms of vision changes, eye tests will surface even the smallest changes in your eyesight.
In the eye exam, your optometrist will check your visual acuity by performing refraction to determine if you need corrective glasses.
Benefits of regular eye exams
Our eyesight is one of our most important senses and looking after your eye health is just good sense. An eye test is the easiest way to determine your eye health. If your optometrist detects refraction, you will be given a prescription so you can buy spectacles online or from your local eyewear store.
Here are the most common benefits of having annual eye exams.
Refractive errors such as myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism occur quite early in life. If left untreated, these errors will get in the way of your child’s learning skills. Although you will feel headaches or blurry vision when you develop these refractions, they may even go unnoticed.
Unlike myopia or hyperopia that happens at a young age, presbyopia (the loss of near vision) happens in your 40s. In this case, your optometrist will not give you prescription power but a magnification strength which you will need when buying reading glasses.
Most eye conditions such as glaucoma or macular degeneration do not present with any symptoms until they get severe. During a comprehensive eye exam, your overall eye health will be examined and your optometrist can even detect the early symptoms of serious eye conditions.
The soon these diseases are detected, the better shot you have at saving your eyesight. If you don’t pay attention to these problems, you may even have to deal with irreparable vision loss. This is why it’s important to spot these diseases as soon as possible.
It’s not just the problems with your eyes that an eye test can detect, it is equally capable of spotting any underlying health condition. Through an eye exam, the optometrist can access the movement and behaviour of the tiny blood vessels in your body. If they see something unusual, they will refer you to a specialist for a proper diagnosis.
Sometimes the abnormalities that they detect could be the signs of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or other health conditions.
If you already have diabetes, you are at a higher risk of developing vision-threatening eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy. Consider taking annual eye exams to detect this problem at an early stage and prevent vision loss.
Where to get a free eye test?
The NHS offers a free eye test to everyone younger than 16 or up to 18 for those who are pursuing full-time education. If you are someone over 60, you are also entitled to the free eye test.
NHS also offers free eye tests to people who are visually impaired or have higher chances of vision loss. If you have a family history of glaucoma, you are more likely to develop it as well. In this case, you can get free eye tests from the NHS.
What can you do to protect your vision?
While we can’t do anything about the visual acuity we are born with, we can take measures to protect what we have. Here are some tips to care for your vision and prevent it from going worse:
- Avoid rubbing your eyes as it can transmit dirt and germs to your eyes causing mild to severe eye infections.
- If you spend digital time at work or are an avid smartphone user. Wear blue light blocking glasses with anti-glare coating. This will protect your eyes from the vicious blue light and prevent the chances of macular degeneration.
- Make sure you take breaks from your digital screens. Sticking to your digital devices not only prompts the symptoms of digital eye strain but also gets in the way of your sleep and deteriorates your eye health.
- Include eye health supporting nutrients and vitamins in your diet. Fishes and green leafy vegetables are the best in this matter.
- Perform eye exercises to strengthen the ocular muscles and help your eyes to keep functioning well.
- Avoid smoking as it can cause inflammation of the tiny blood vessels inside your eyes thereby causing trouble with your vision.
Eye tests are important to make sure that everything is good with your eyes. But you don’t have to spend anything to get your eyes tested. Simply get a free eye test from the NHS and detect any vision problems while they can be corrected.