You can expect your eye doctor to perform a visual acuity test during your eye exam. It allows specialists to identify common refractive errors, such as nearsightedness and farsightedness. Visual acuity only determines how clear or sharp your vision is. Even if you have 20/20 vision, it does not mean you have perfect sight. Eye coordination, peripheral awareness, color vision and depth perception can influence your vision’s strength.
If you do not see as well with your current glasses or contacts, you might need to update them. Read on to discover some of the most common reasons eye prescriptions change.
How Do You Know If Your Eye Prescription Has Changed?
You Have Been Having Frequent Headaches
One of the most common signs you need new glasses or contacts is frequent headaches. It happens because your brain works harder to keep up with the changes in your vision. The added strain on your brain and eyes can result in pain. If the headache goes away when you remove your prescription eyewear, you likely need to update it.
Your Eyes Feel Tired
Poor sleep, allergies and colds can cause eye fatigue. Your eyes will inevitably feel tired when you spend hours using digital devices such as computers, tablets and smartphones. Don’t forget to give your eyes a break while working. You can practice the 20-20-20 rule, where you look 20 feet away from screens for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.
Do you still experience eye fatigue even if you take breaks from digital screens? If so, it could be because of an uncorrected vision problem. An outdated eye prescription can also cause this problem in people who wear glasses or contact lenses.
You Are Constantly Squinting
Many people unconsciously squint their eyes to see objects more clearly. An outdated prescription will cause you to squint constantly. As a result, you will experience eye strain and discomfort. Schedule an eye examination if you must squint to see well.
Your Vision Is Blurred
Do you still struggle to see clearly even when wearing prescription glasses or contact lenses? You might have to replace your current eyewear to see well at all distances. If you are over 40, your doctor might suggest glasses with progressive lenses. Never take blurred vision lightly because it can indicate other eye conditions like cataracts.
Your Eyeglasses Are More Than a Year Old
How long has it been since you got your prescription eyewear? Your eyes change as you age, making it even more crucial to get regular eye exams. During your appointment, your optometrist will assess your eyes’ condition and trace changes in your vision. It is a good idea to get an eye exam if it’s been over a year since your last one.
What Can Cause Your Eye Prescription to Change?
Your child’s eyes will continue to develop and change as they grow older. Myopia or nearsightedness is a common eye condition among children. It can happen in kids as young as six and get worse around ages 11 to 13.
Nearsightedness can progress until your child is in their late teens or early 20s. That’s why they should get eye exams regularly. You can encourage them to keep their glasses on by allowing them to select a frame style and color they love. An optician can help choose a pair that reflects your little one’s style and meets their needs.
Moreover, it is not uncommon for individuals 40 and older to experience noticeable changes in their vision. Once you reach this age, you might need more light to read books or the newspaper. The lenses of your eyes can become rigid as you age, affecting your ability to focus. The symptoms of this eye condition tend to manifest in your early 40s and continue to worsen until you are around 65.
Your eye doctor will check your eyes for indications of eye diseases if there is a substantial change in your eye prescription. Cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma are eye problems that affect vision. When not detected and treated early, they can cause irreversible damage to your eyes and sight. They don’t often show early symptoms, making routine comprehensive eye exams even more essential.
Some eye conditions can affect your vision, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Elevated blood pressure levels can harm blood vessels in the retina or the part of the eye that focuses images. On the other hand, diabetes can heighten the risk of cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema.
Another thing that can cause your eye prescription to change is injury. It can damage different parts of your eye or alter its shape. When this happens, your eye doctor might recommend replacing your glasses or contacts.
Eye injuries often occur in the workplace. Wear appropriate eye protection at all times if your job involves handling power tools and chemicals. Your eyes can also get injured while playing sports or doing outdoor activities. Wearing safety gear and goggles or glasses goes a long way in preventing blunt-force injuries.
How Often Should You Update Your Prescription Eyewear?
Experts strongly recommend updating your prescription eyewear at least every two years. If you notice something different with your vision, you might need a new one sooner. You can determine if your current prescription is still suitable for your eyes through yearly eye exams. Regularly visiting an eye doctor can help detect many vision-threatening eye conditions in their early stages.
Your eye specialist might ask you to schedule eye exams more frequently if the prescription change occurred due to an eye disease. It is so they can monitor your vision and help manage your condition.