Ask the Optician – I can see perfectly well, why should I have an eye test?

THIS week, rather than answer a series of questions, I wanted to answer this one important point in more depth, as too many people fail to have regular eye tests.

Many problems with the eyes have no symptoms, so you should have a check-up with your optometrist every two years.  More frequent checks are advised for the over 70s or those with a family history of glaucoma or a condition such as diabetes because they are more at risk of certain eye diseases.

While many people know that a routine eye test can identify sight-related illnesses such as glaucoma and cataracts, a relatively unknown fact is that the same eye test could help to detect serious medical conditions that you wouldn’t usually associate with the eyes, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and brain tumours. Optometrists are trained over a period of four years to look out for eye related diseases and these other medical conditions. Recent advances in technology such as digital retinal photography are helping to identify conditions early and save lives by referring patients to the right medical professional quickly to get treatment.

There is a great deal of research done into eye diseases, with advances being made in treatments, however, effective treatment relies on an early diagnosis, so it’s vital to have a regular eye test even if everything seems OK.

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  1. I can see perfectly well out of both my eyes. I do not have blurred vision and I can read without straining my eyes at all. I also do not have constant headaches although I do get them once in a while. I know it’s not a tumor or anything and I do not have bleeding from my ears. Thank God!

    My concern lies in the fact that I recently failed a DMV eye exam. Thankfully, I was able to renew my Driver’s License online. I do have seasonal allergies. I noticed a bit after I failed my exam that the left side of my face and my left eye sometimes feel numb. I do not have facial paralysis and my face is not drooping. My speech is not slurred.

    I do have sign pressure in my face and eyes on occasion. Sometimes I feel a tingling in my jaw and teeth. What could really be going on? I highly doubt it’s stroke or aneurysm. The left side of my body is not numb. It’s only my face and eye.


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