Often we take for granted the beauty that surrounds us. The vibrant colors and views of nature that enrich us every day can become lost if we do not take care of our eyes. Vision care works best if we use it as a prevention. Don’t wait to seek help until there are problems.
How do you know if it is time to get an eye exam?
Our eyes can let us know when it is time to get them checked. Here are a few tell-tale symptoms:
- Your eyes will begin to see floaters or you see spots. Are you seeing flashes of light?
- Are they often dry, itchy and red?
- Has your night vision changed? Are you having difficulty with glare, blurred landscape, or reading road signs?
- Do you need longer arms to read? If you are holding the newspaper at a distance, squinting, or closing one eye to be able to focus the print, it is time to have your eyes checked.
- After spending a long time in front of a computer monitor, do you develop headaches, blurred vision, or eye strain?
- Do you have a health condition like diabetes? Your eyes may be affected. Also, if you are not showing systems but have a family history of glaucoma, diabetes, or other conditions that can affect the eyes, regular exams would be wise especially as you enter your 50’s.
- Signs of sudden dizziness, motion sickness, or issues with following a moving target may mean it is time for an eye exam.
- If you have had any type of head trauma, and you experience changes in your vision, your eyes need to be checked.
- Having trouble remembering the last time you had an eye exam? It is time to schedule an appointment.
Often people go through a vision change after the age of forty. Your eye doctor can gauge the change and offer corrective solutions. The exam can reveal more than just eye changes including signs of diabetes and cancer.
Benefits of Contacts
After the exam, the eye doctor tells you that it is time for you to correct your vision using eyewear. Your choices are contacts or glasses. Here are the benefit of contacts:
- You keep your natural appearance.
- They do not fog and obstruct vision.
- Frames are not needed.
- Glare and reflections are not an issue.
- There is no obstruction of view including your peripheral vision.
Different Types of Contacts
- Daily replacements are soft contacts that do not require cleaning. You wear them one day and dispose of them. You open and wear a fresh new pair the next day.
- Two week and monthly replacements mean the contacts are good for those amounts of time. Both types of contacts must be removed from your eyes in the evening, cleaned and stored.
- Hard Contacts are still available but often are not as comfortable to wear. They have a maximum three-month wear life and need to be removed, cleaned, and stored every night.
- Extended wear contacts can be purchased for 7-day and 30-day prolonged use without removal.
- Tinted contacts that change your eye color can be prescribed. Your eyes can be colored to enhance your looks and match your wardrobe.
When purchasing contacts, it is advised that you also own a pair of prescription glasses. Contacts obstruct oxygen to the cornea and your eyes need to breathe. Glasses now make a fashion statement and the choices are vast.
Choosing the Right Glasses
- Shop around for your frames. Find the style that enhances your look with a price that will fit your budget. Look for frames that balance your facial features. Pick frame colors that go well with your skin tone and hair color.
- Talk to your eye doctor about the types of materials available for the lens construction and special features such as tinted UV protection or darkening in sunlight.
- The weight of the frames is a big issue to consider since you will be wearing them for prolonged periods of time.
- Check to see if your eyes center in the lens and your eyes look balance in shape and size when wearing the glasses.
- A good tip is to bring your glasses and contacts when you have an exam. This lets the doctor check them to see if any changes that need to be made.
How much does an eye exam cost?
The cost of an eye exam can range from $50 to slightly over $100. Additional procedures will add to the cost. If you have vision insurance, check your policy to see if you are fully covered or if you are required to make a co-pay. Be sure to check with your employer for any eye care benefits provided by the company.