Nobody really likes getting their eyes tested. Visiting the optometrist is often left at the bottom of our to-do lists, along with enrolling at the gym, cleaning out our closet and going to the dentist. It gets put off again and again, but this could mean missing important changes in your eyesight or optical health.

Usually, the first thing that springs to mind when we think of eye testing is the quality of our eyesight and whether or not we might need glasses or a higher prescription. In actual fact, eye tests allow your optometrist to ascertain much more than whether you might be near or farsighted.

Diabetes can affect your eyes’ blood vessels, which can be seen during eye tests, and if left untreated, it can be dangerous and very detrimental to your health including, but certainly not limited to, your eyesight. Glaucoma, caused by fluid pressure in the eyeball, is most common in people over 40. It can lead to blindness but luckily can be treated and kept under control if detected early. A chemical change in the eye can lead to a condition called cataracts, which results in cloudy vision. It can be treated with glasses or surgery, depending on its development. All of these conditions can be treated or controlled – but they must be caught early enough by regular check-ups!

So how often do we really need to go? Most opticians recommend taking an eye test every one to two years and more frequently for those with conditions such as diabetes and glaucoma, and for children who wear glasses. It’s advisable to ask your optician each time how soon you should come back.

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