7 Signs You Need To See An Optometrist

7 Signs You Need To See An Optometrist

Visiting the optometrist does not always feel like a top priority on the to-do list, but it is actually very important for your health. While everyone should see the optometrist for regular eye exams, there are times when it is extra important. Whether you develop an eye condition gradually or you very suddenly experience a problem with your vision, you should go to the optometrist to have your eye health assessed. Even if you think it’s nothing or you aren’t worried about it, you should always visit the optometrist if there are problems or changes with your vision or eye health.

Visit An Optometrist If You Experience:

1. Eye Emergencies
If you suffer an eye emergency, you need to go to the optometrist right away. Eye emergencies can vary, but typically an eye emergency includes objects in the eye, loss of vision, impact to the eye, or chemicals in the eye. For a full list of eye emergencies, read Is This An Eye Emergency? How To Know And If Your Optometrist Can Help.

2. Dry Eyes
If you have persistent or recurring dry eyes, visit your optometrist for symptom relief. An optometrist can administer testing to determine how severe your dry eyes are and what the potential cause is. They can then recommend dry eye treatment, such as lubricating eye drops, prescription eye drops, punctal plugs, and more. Even if your dry eyes don’t seem to be severe, seeing an optometrist about this can help you feel better and avoid the dangers of undiagnosed dry eye symptoms

3. Blurry Vision
There are a variety of eye conditions that can cause blurred vision. Vision that becomes blurry gradually can be a sign of a changing prescription or the development of cataracts. Prescription changes can be easily remedied by updating your eyeglasses and cataracts can be treated with prescription eyeglasses or cataract surgery, depending on how advanced the cataracts are. Sudden blurry vision can be indicative of more serious eye health problems. If your vision suddenly goes blurry and doesn’t go back to normal after a few blinks, you may be experiencing an eye emergency and you should visit your optometrist right away.

4. Changes In Vision
Vision changes include more than just blurry vision. If you struggle to see during nighttime, if colours seem less vivid, if you see floaters, if you notice lines look wavy, if you see halos around lights, and more; any change in your vision is worth visiting your optometrist for. Some changes in vision are a natural part of aging, but others are indications of developing eye conditions that can cause vision loss if they are not managed.

5. Headaches
If you experience headaches often, it may be due to eye strain. If your vision is becoming blurred, your eyes need to focus more and this can cause tension headaches. This can be due to a change of prescription or a developing eye condition, but it may just be caused by digital eye strain or eye fatigue. Since it is hard to know the cause, you should visit your optometrist for an eye exam. If your headaches are caused by digital eye strain, your optometrist may recommend blue-light blocking glasses and give you tips to reduce digital eye strain.

6. Changes In Health
Your general health affects your eye health and your eyesight. If you have been diagnosed with any conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, these can present a risk to your vision. These conditions need to be disclosed to your optometrist and they need to monitor your eye health to ensure your health conditions are not affecting the blood vessels in your eyes. You should also visit the optometrist if you are pregnant, as pregnancy can cause changes to the eyes either temporarily or permanently. Women who are menopausal or post-menopausal should also visit the optometrist, as this change can affect eye health.

7. You Haven’t Had An Eye Exam In More Than Two Years
If you are under 18 or over 65, you should receive an eye exam once a year. If you are between the ages of 19 and 64, you should receive an eye exam at least every two years. If it has been longer than the recommended time for your age group, you should schedule an appointment with the optometrist. Even if you haven’t had any symptoms of eye health issues or vision changes, your eyes can start to develop various conditions without your knowledge. Many eye conditions, including glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy, won’t present symptoms until permanent damage has occurred.


An Optometrist Will Examine Your Eye Health

Whether you have a specific reason to visit your optometrist or it’s just been a while since your last eye exam, an optometrist can assess your vision, update your prescription, and monitor the health of your eyes. During an eye exam at Specs in the City, our optometrist will perform a series of tests and visual assessments to determine the health of your eyes, and they will ask you questions about your own health and your family health history. If any conditions are discovered, your optometrist will work with you to discuss a personalized treatment plan to slow or stop the progression of the eye condition. To schedule an adult eye exam at Specs in the City, call 1-403-252-2020 or fill out the online contact form.



Q: Is there anything I need to bring to an eye exam?
A: Once you’ve booked your eye exam there are a few things you can bring to better help us ensure your eye care needs are met. They are:

  • All prescription glasses, sunglasses, or contact lenses you’re currently using
  • All eye drops you’re currently using
  • The medications or supplements you’re currently on
  • A detailed family history of serious medical conditions
  • Details surrounding your vision insurance or work benefits
  • Medical records surrounding any eye surgeries or injuries you’ve had

Q: Do eye exams hurt?
A: No, although your eyes may feel odd from staying open for longer than usual or if your optometrist needs to use dilating eye drops.

Q: Does Alberta Health Care cover eye exams?
A: The Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) provides coverage for annual eye exams if you’re between the ages of 0-18, or over 65. The provincial plan can also be used in times of an emergency should you require an immediate appointment with an eye doctor.

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