Like many things — changing leaves, an incoming ocean tide — your vision prescription may change so gradually that you don’t even notice, until one day your eye glasses no longer work as well as they once did. Maybe you started holding your phone a little farther away to read your texts, or you find yourself squinting to read road signs. Don’t wait until you find yourself in this situation. Instead, visit us annually for a thorough eye exam. The need for a revised prescription is just one change that can occur with your vision health. Having a complete eye exam enables your optometrist to detect issues at their earliest, most treatable stage.
Certain patients should have their eyes checked every six months. This includes those who have diabetes, glaucoma, macular degeneration, or severe dry eyes, as well as, anyone taking medications like Plaquenil that can affect their vision.
One of the most common questions patients ask our team at Vision Corner in Houston, Texas, is: “How frequently should I update my glasses prescription?” Our top-ranked optometrist, Dr. Sophia Barnes, discusses this topic and offers her recommendations for the best ways to maintain healthy eyes and 20/20 vision.
It may depend on your individual eye health, but a typical vision prescription is only valid for 1-2 years. That’s because your vision changes as you grow and get older, and so does your eye health. If you continue wearing an outdated glasses prescription, you could end up experiencing eye strain and fatigue, blurry vision, and headaches.
Additionally, it’s important to get your eyes checked regularly by an optometrist like Dr. Barnes, so she can evaluate your overall eye health. As you get older, not only can your vision needs change, but you may also be more susceptible to eye diseases and conditions, such as:
If you’re a diabetic, you may also be at risk for developing diabetic retinopathy — a common condition that progressively damages the blood vessels in your retinas.
Even if your prescription doesn’t change very much over the years, a slight difference can still affect your ability to see clearly. When you update your glasses every 1-2 years, you stay ahead of vision changes as well as the wear-and-tear on your glasses.
If you have scratched lenses in your current glasses or the antireflective coating is wearing off, for example, you might begin seeing the world through a cloudy viewpoint. This could cause you to squint or have headaches after a day of staring at your computer screen.
Bent or crooked frames can affect your vision and could really become a problem if you wear bifocals or progressive lenses. These types of glasses are designed for optimal vision at different distances depending on whether you look straight ahead or through the lower portion of the lenses. When they aren’t properly aligned, all kinds of vision issues can occur.
Of course, your vision and eye health are most important, but updating your eye glasses may also help you look a little younger and compliment your face shape in a more flattering way. While this may not be a primary concern, you may still want to look good in your glasses.
Furthermore, technology changes rapidly. We may be offering a new lens material or frames that are a lighter weight than your older pair. And, if it’s been awhile since you last updated your glasses, you may not even be aware of how blue light glasses can help block the harmful light from your computer screen.
We recommend making an appointment for an eye exam and updating your glasses prescription before you develop vision problems. Most of the time this means at least yearly.