5 Reasons to See Your Optometrist This Summer

Posted on July 7, 2021

With the increase in sunlight hours and the urge to be more active during the summer, you should consider a trip to your optometrist a smart idea—especially if you have not seen your eye doctor in a few years.

Extra driving and traveling means dealing with sunlight and a lot of reflections, which means extra strain on your eyes. You want to check if you need an updated prescription for glasses or contact lenses. You also want to ensure you aren’t showing signs of any serious eye conditions that could affect you long-term.

Summer days are ideal to get your share of sunshine. Taking time to sit at the pool, the lake, the beach, the park or any other place you love outdoors is a perfect way to relax and wind down from your everyday stresses.

But when you go, you need protection not only for your skin but for your eyes.

When you’re outside for long periods, you expose your eyes to numerous shiny exteriors, particularly if you’re in or near the water. Sunlight reflects off the sandy beaches, water, pavement and car windows.

These reflective surfaces can make your eyes develop photokeratitis, a painful condition caused by extended exposure to harmful ultra-violet rays from the sun.

Longer exposure on sunny days can bring on eye conditions such as eye redness, dry eyes, sore and itchy eyes, blurry vision and possible temporary sight loss. So it’s essential to ensure that your eyes are ready for summer.

Here are five reasons to see your optometrist before you start working on your tan.

You Should Get a Status Report of Your Eyes

You should have your eyesight checked regularly to rule out any possibility of unexpected vision problems. Long periods between eye appointments can be detrimental, especially as you get older.

Adults and children should get annual eye screenings, and grown-ups should also get comprehensive dilated eye tests as well.

These tests are critical because certain eye conditions don’t carry warning symptoms. Comprehensive eye exams are the only reliable techniques used to detect overlying eyesight conditions during their initial stages for advanced diagnosis and treatment.

A check-up consists of:

  • A peripheral vision test.
    A decline in peripheral eyesight might be an indication of glaucoma.
  • A visual acuity test.
    You read letters, numbers and symbols from about 20 yards away determines how accurate you can see from different distances.
  • A tonometry test.
    This measures the internal pressure of your eye and helps detect glaucoma.
  • A dilation test.
    This is done with eye drops to widen, or dilate, your pupils and accommodate light into the eye.

Your eye doctor will look at (and into) your eyes with a specialized magnifying lens, which provides a clear view of your vital eye tissues, such as the optic nerve and the retina.

You Should Make Sure Your Prescription Is Up to Date

Many people who have sight problems must see an eye doctor regularly for scheduled vision checks and eyewear prescriptions. Prescribed glasses are only valid for a specific period.

When your contact lenses expire, you may opt for an online vision assessment, which a doctor reviews before issuing you an updated prescription. However, if you are experiencing irritation, redness, eye dryness, or a pre-existing ailment, it’s essential to schedule an eye check-up.

You Want to Reduce the Risk of Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a wide range of infections that can injure the optic nerve. The condition is a major cause of blindness in the U.S. and generally occurs once the fluid pressure from inside the eyes gradually increases, injuring the optic nerve in the process.

Glaucoma gives no visible warning signs. Instead, it causes gradual loss of peripheral vision in people with glaucoma if they fail to receive immediate treatment.

Frequent eye check-ups can help to detect whether you have glaucoma. Individuals at risk should have their eyes examined at least once every two years. These groups include:

  • Black Americans aged 40 and above.
  • Anyone over the age of 60, especially Hispanic Americans
  • Anyone with glaucoma in their family history

Although the cure for glaucoma is still unknown, it’s still a manageable condition. Standard treatment methods include prescribed eye drops or surgeries.

You Want to Confirm You Have No Other Eye or Medical Issues

Regular eye exams can also detect other sight issues early on and help mitigate vision loss, you should consider having regular eye exams, especially when you reach forty. However, annual check-ups are recommended if you are at significant risk of developing an eye condition.

If you are older and have type 1 diabetes, research shows that changes in your retina are an indication of future cognitive disorders.

You should consider regular eye exams, especially if you are older than 40. An annual visit is recommended if you are at significant risk for developing an eye condition. When there are no present disorders, you should visit the doctor every two to four years until you reach your mid-50s. Following that, your visits need to be more regular, every one to three years.

When you turn 65, consider visiting your optometrist once every one to two years.

Because You Will Not Have Access to Your Eye Doctor While Traveling

It goes without saying, but when you’re away from home, you usually aren’t near the doctors you’re used to seeing and getting treatment from. Few things are worse than getting sick or hurt when you’re on vacation, especially far away from home, and that includes having an issue with your eyes.

Just as you keep photos of your passport and driver’s license on your phone or copies of them in your suitcase, you should ensure that you have your updated eye prescription. That will make it easier for you to secure replacement glasses if yours get lost or broken or if you damage your contacts.

Long flights and rides, a change in climate and late nights can result in dry and irritated eyes. Liquefied tears or drops can help lubricate your eyeballs and stop the discomfort. If you are going to travel in exceedingly hot weather, protect your contact lenses to avoid frame and lens damage.

Sources

Glaucoma. National Eye Institute. Date fetched: June 30, 2021

Routine eye scan may give clues to cognitive decline in diabetes. Joslin Diabetes. Date fetched: July 1, 2021

5 Tips for a Lifetime of Healthy Vision. American Refractive Surgery Council. Date fetched: June 30, 2021.

Saving Your eyes from the Summer Heat. College of Optometry, State University of New York. Date fetched: June 29, 2021.

Glaucoma. Medline Plus. Date fetched: June 29, 2021.

Detecting Eye Diseases and Conditions. WebMD. Date fetched: June 29, 2021.