Eye sight tests

Eyesight tests - What you need to know

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Why are regular eye tests so important?

It’s easy to neglect eyes because they rarely hurt when there’s a problem. Having an eye test won’t just indicate if new glasses or a change of prescription is required, it’s also an important eye health check. It can spot many general health problems and early signs of eye conditions before there is any awareness of symptoms – many of which can be treated if found early enough.

How often should an eye test be carried out?

Optometrists recommend that everyone has an eye test about every two years. People over 40 and people from black or minority ethnic groups may need sight tests more frequently.

What to do about noticing changes in sight?

A visit to the optician or GP should be booked if there is any concern regarding any aspect of vision.

Are some people more at risk from eye disease than others?

Anyone can develop sight problems, but some people have a higher risk of eye disease. Regular eye tests are especially important for:

  • The over 60’s
  • People from certain ethnic groups – for example, African-Caribbean communities are at greater risk of developing glaucoma and diabetes, and people from south Asian communities are at a greater risk of developing diabetes; diabetic retinopathy, where the retina becomes damaged, is a common complication of diabetes
  • Someone with a learning disability
  • Anyone with a family history of eye disease

What about my children’s eyesight?

Children do not usually complain about their sight but may show signs of not being able to see properly. Things to look out for include sitting close to the TV, holding objects very close to their face, blinking a lot, eye rubbing, or one eye turning in or out. If a child is having any sort of sight problems, they should be taken to an optometrist for further investigation.

Children don’t have to be able to read letters to have their eyes examined. Like adults, children should have regular eye checks around every two years.


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