Eye care is a critical part of your overall health and quality of life. To detect changes in your vision and early symptoms of disease, you should receive regular eye exams, which can lead to more effective treatment and management. If you're not sure whether you should have an eye exam, here are some signs that it might be time for one.

When Do You Need an Eye Exam?

1. Eye Discomfort

Anytime you experience eye discomfort, it can be a sign of vision changes or strain. More serious symptoms like swelling, burning, and discharge could even indicate an infection like endophthalmitis or the presence of a foreign object, both of which require treatment to avoid complications like vision loss. If your eyes often feel scratchy, irritated, or dry, you could have dry eye disease, which can also affect your vision. Postponing an eye care appointment could lead to lasting complications, so it's important to schedule care promptly.

2. Changes in Vision

Changes in vision often mean that your eyes have changed shape or structure and can no longer see as precisely. While it's natural for your vision to decline during middle age, having uncorrected vision problems can impair your daily life and strain your eyes. Sometimes, blurred or spotty vision can also signal disease, like diabetic retinopathy or cataracts. 

Watch for signs of changing vision, such as less awareness of your peripherals, squinting while driving or watching TV, or holding objects at arm's length. Sudden vision changes, like seeing flashing lights, require an urgent appointment, as they may indicate problems like retinal detachment.

3. Frequent Headaches

eye exams

While headaches can have many causes, regular headaches may be a result of eye strain. Start tracking when your headaches occur. If they're triggered by watching TV, driving, reading, or being in dim or glaring light, they're likely caused by a loss of visual acuity. 

If they're more common after prolonged use of devices like a computer, tablet, or smartphone, the headaches may be a result of digital eye strain. Your doctor can identify the cause and recommend treatment, glasses, or lifestyle changes (like taking breaks during screen use) to minimize your headaches, improving your quality of life.

4. Duration Since Last Exam

The American Optometric Association recommends that all healthy adults under the age of 65 with no or minimal risk factors should get comprehensive eye exams every two years. If you're at risk of eye disease, you should have annual exams. Routine exams let you voice concerns related to your eye health, such as chronic dryness or blurriness. They also allow your doctor to prescribe corrective wear or treatment for vision loss or diseases.


If you're ready for an eye exam, contact Blue Earth Valley Eye Clinic in Faribault County, MN. Within a kind team and technologically advanced office, their doctors have over 30 years of combined experience treating ocular conditions. Browse their services online, and schedule an exam by calling (507) 526-2222.