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Most patients should have an eye exam every year, with a few patients requiring more frequent appointments due to individual considerations. However, too many of us skip these important appointments and see our eye doctor far less frequently than we should. Even over the course of a year, your vision may change quite a bit, especially after the age of 50. Whether you see your Silverstein Eye Centers doctor annually or not, it is important to understand when to schedule an exam whether for routine eye care or to screen for any potential problems.

IT’S BEEN A WHILE SINCE YOUR LAST APPOINTMENT

As mentioned, you should ideally have your eyes examined at least once per year. If it has been more than a year since your last appointment, or if it has been so long since your last appointment that you don’t remember the visit, it is definitely time to schedule your next exam. If you are diabetic, have hypertension, suffer from a vision or eye condition already, or if you have a family history of such conditions, it is even more important to schedule and keep regular eye examination appointments. As you age, it becomes more and more important as well.

YOU ARE EXPERIENCING EYE IRRITATION OR OTHER PROBLEMS

Even if you see your eye doctor regularly, there are other occasions when scheduling an appointment might be a good idea. In particular, if you experience a sudden change in your vision or begin seeing spots, flashes of light, or floaters without obvious cause, you should see your eye doctor as soon as possible. These could indicate the sudden development of a number of vision conditions that must be treated as soon as possible to prevent further complications.

YOU ARE HAVING DIFFICULTY WITH EVERYDAY ACTIVITIES

Sometimes our everyday activities can cause our eye complaints, while at other times problems with our vision may interfere with our ability to take part in such activities. For those who spend a significant amount of time in front of a computer screen, it is not uncommon to experience eyestrain, headaches, or blurred vision after computer use. A visit to the eye doctor may help determine if you need glasses, a change to your current prescription, or if changing your habits may help. The same is true if you are having difficulty driving at night or reading street signs. If you find that you are holding books or the newspaper either further away or closer than usual, or if you have to squint to read clearly, you also may need to make some adjustments to your prescription or habits. Your eye doctor will be able to provide a thorough examination and make recommendations based on the findings during your appointment.

YOU HAVE HAD A HEAD INJURY OR OTHER SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN YOUR HEALTH

Finally, anytime you experience a significant head trauma or other change in your health that may affect your vision, you should see your eye doctor. For example, if you hit your head while playing a sport or during a car accident, you may experience blurred or double vision as a result. Even if you are diagnosed with a concussion by an emergency physician or your own primary care doctor, it may be a good idea to have an eye exam as well. Motion sickness or dizziness may also indicate eye and vision related problems and should prompt you to see your eye doctor.

Your Silverstein Eye Centers eye doctor is your partner in keeping your eyes healthy and preserving your vision. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms or problems listed above, schedule an appointment with your Silverstein Eye Centers doctor right away. If it has been some time since your last eye exam, schedule an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam, and make a commitment to seeing your eye doctor annually. Your eye exams are important not only for monitoring your vision, but also for keeping an eye on your overall health and monitoring other conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. To schedule your next eye exam, call Silverstein Eye Centers today at (816) 358-3600 for the Kansas City / Independence office.

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