How often do I need my eyes checked?
One of the most common questions we encounter at Inspired Eyes Optometry is “How often do I need my eyes checked?”. Usually, clients think that just because their eyes are healthy that they don’t need a checkup. This is a common misconception, most people think they can do without routine eye exams. But, the importance of having a thorough eye examination (a Vision Wellness Assessment) is important so let’s find out why.
Often, a shift occurs in a patient’s mind when they consider the difference between “vision” and “eyesight”. Seeing clearly at a distance (20/20) is just one of many aspects of your vision. Seeing clearly also includes visual processing and eye health that Optometrists assess at a full eye examination. We take 40 minutes to finish the Vision Wellness Assessment. We take into account things like your lifestyle, health, and any individual concerns to make custom recommendations just for you. This helps you achieve the clear, comfortable and near-perfect vision you deserve. Then we find solutions unique to you for preventing eye diseases from occurring later in life.
The Canadian Association of Optometrists says that children should have their first Vision Wellness Assessment between 6-12 months of age. This is important for ensuring the proper development of the visual system and screening for rare but serious eye diseases. A second Vision Wellness Assessment is recommended before entering preschool, followed by yearly assessments until the age of 19. In BC, a significant portion of the examination cost is covered under MSP for those aged 19 and under. Extended health insurance plans often cover the remaining portion of the assessment fee.
If you are between the ages of 20-64 you should have a full eye exam every 2 years. Adults who have a higher risk of developing certain eye conditions should often continue with annual Vision Wellness Assessments. In many cases, MSP will cover a portion of these assessments if deemed medically necessary.
You should be getting regular eye exams if you have…
- A family history of eye disease (Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration, etc.)
- General health conditions like Diabetes or High Blood Pressure
- Existing or previously diagnosed eye conditions
- Wear contact lenses
- Are taking certain prescription or non-prescription drugs with visual or eye-related side effects
- Or, those who have suffered previous eye injuries or surgeries
And finally, for those 65 years and older, yearly eye exams are essential. This is why it’s important to ask yourself the question “how often do I need my eyes checked?” They ensure the eyes are ageing without some of the most common eye diseases. Most of the threatening diseases of the eye include…
- Macular Degeneration
- Retinal Swelling/Bleeding
- Retinal Tears/Detachments
…these problems also occur most likely within the 65+ age group. This is why yearly eye exams are crucial for those 65 years and older.
And there is even more good news!
A portion of these annual eye tests are covered by MSP and extended health insurance plans. The eye exam can be billed directly from our downtown Kelowna location, saving you from doing the paperwork. Have a look at our blog post about our hassle-free, direct billing option.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Danny Walker hails from Mississauga, Ontario, and has been practicing Optometry in the Okanagan for the past three years. Dr.Walker completed both his Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Optometry degrees at the University of Waterloo. At Inspired Eyes Optometry, Dr. Walker enjoys being able to provide his patients with thorough examinations and personalized eye care.
Dr. Walker is available for morning, daytime, evening and Saturday appointments at Inspired Eyes Creative Eyewear & Optometry. Call (250) 862-5900 or Book Online.