Dr. Athena Brasfield

Do You Need an Eye Exam? How to Know When It’s Time to Go

Just like we have our regular wellness checkups or dentist appointments, a yearly eye exam should also fit the list!  Remember that taking care of our eyes does not happen only at home; it also includes a regular eye exam.

An eye exam is the best way to look out for issues ahead of time and to prevent a variety of eye disease or deficiency. Here are 5 signs you might need an eye exam soon:


#1: You may be noticing changes in visual acuity

If things are getting harder to see while driving or reading, there can be a couple of different changes taking place. You could either be experiencing myopia, when you can’t see objects clearly from afar, or presbyopia, having a hard time seeing close-up objects. It’s important to book an eye exam as soon as you start noticing changes in order to prevent symptoms like headaches and eye fatigue.


#2: It may be getting harder to see in darker environments

Are you having trouble seeing in darker settings? Is the dim light all of a sudden too dim for you?  This can often be a simple sign of aging. However, this may mean your nighttime vision may be affected, and losing nighttime vision can often be an early sign of cataracts.  It’s best to book an appointment as soon as you start losing your confidence in the dark.


#3: You may start seeing halos around objects

If you start seeing rings of light around objects in daylight, that’s an immediate sign to book an eye exam. A sudden change like this could be indicative of a large eye health problem, like an injury or eye disease that could result in vision loss.  Definitely don’t skip an eye exam if you’re facing this one.


#4: You don’t recall the last time you had an eye exam

Well, this is automatically not the greatest sign. The longer you go without a regular eye exam, the more at risk you are for a harmful eye health issue to take over, and potentially even losing your vision. With regular eye exams, you can target any eye health issues while in its early stages.


#5: If you have diabetes or you smoke, an eye exam is even more important

Chronic health issues or negative health habits like diabetes and smoking put us more at risk of facing eye disease. Smokers are 4x more likely to develop macular degeneration and people with diabetes or high blood pressure are also more susceptible to glaucoma and cataracts. Unfortunately, eye diseases like macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataracts are symptom-free, so your best chance of early detection is with an eye exam. An eye exam can even detect if you have diabetes too.


The Takeaway: Never Miss an Eye Exam!


Your eye health is critical to your wellbeing. Make sure you schedule regular eye exams to monitor changes and detect issues in advance. A quick and comfortable appointment is definitely worth the cost of preventing serious eye health issues down the line.

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