Do I really need an eye test when my eyes feel fine?

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Your eye test reminder has come through, but your eyes don’t seem to have changed, your glasses still “work fine” and you don’t seem to be having any headaches or other symptoms. Do you really need to book in for another eye test? Or is your money better spent on some new clothes or towards your next holiday?

Eye tests are not only useful for testing your vision but also in detecting eye conditions and many different health issues. One of the reasons why it’s so important to get booked in is because an eye test can actually diagnose some conditions before the symptoms even show in other parts of the body.

Here are a few examples:

Diabetes

Did you know? A person who has not been diagnosed with diabetes yet would benefit from an eye test because an optometrist can detect potential diabetic changes within the eye. Diagnostic tests such as OCT and Optomap are digital imaging systems used to create an in-depth analysis of your eye health. In its early stages, diabetic retinopathy “may cause no symptoms”. According to Healthline, “diabetes affects many areas of your body, including your eyes”. People with diabetes can develop diabetic retinopathy which causes the blood vessels in the light-sensitive portion of your eye (the retina) to become damaged. It is when this damage worsens that those with the condition will start to see problems with their vision such as floaters/dot/dark strings in your field of vision, blurriness, difficulty focusing, altered colour vision, partial or total vision loss, dark or empty areas in your vision field.

 

High blood pressure

According to the Blood Pressure UK, the eyes are “the only place where the small blood vessels can be viewed and often any problems here are repeated in the small blood vessels which cannot be seen such as the kidneys.” Direct or indirect ophthalmoscopy is used to shine a light to the back of your eye which allows your optometrists to have a thorough look at the health of your blood vessels.

Arthritis

When inflammation damages your joints, it can also affect your eyes. Many people think arthritis as inflammation of strictly the joints but there is research to show that it can cause damage in unexpected places such as the eyes, according to the Arthritis Foundation. In addition, inflammation can be recurrent and coincide with flare-ups in other parts of the body too. Any condition which is going to affect the collagen in the body such as Rheumatoid arthritis can also affect the white of the eye the sclera and the cornea as they are also made up of collagen.

High Cholesterol levels

A slit-lamp examination of your eye by your optometrist could show fat deposits known as arcus. Although the detection of these may not mean you have high cholesterol levels, it could be an indicator of it. This is further confirmed by undertaking a blood test as directed by your optometrist.

These are just a few of the reasons why you should book in for an eye examination when you are due, as many conditions can go unnoticed when there are no other symptoms. To book your eye test today, click here. Alternatively, you can book through our practices:
Preston: 01772 822591
Lytham: 01253 734791

OCT and Optomap can be purchased as an upgrade to your standard eye examination at Broadhurst Optometrists (+£25).