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When Should You See an Optometrist and What Happens During an Eye Test?

In Australia, “optometrists play a key role in preventative care, early detection and treatment of eye and vision problems, and detection and referral of systemic conditions that affect the eye.” Much like GPs are to the medical profession, optometrists are often your first point of call when you have an eye or vision concern.

Should I see an optometrist regularly?

To maximise your chances of maintaining good vision for life, it’s important to have routine eye tests. Even if you feel your sight is perfect and you have no issues, many eye diseases are asymptomatic in their early stages. It can also be difficult to know whether your vision is considered normal or not if you’ve become used to the quality of your sight over time.

If your eyes and vision are known to be healthy, the current recommendation by most optometrists for a regular eye test is:

  • Every 2 years if you are under the age of 65 years old.
  • Every year if you are 65 years or older.

If you do have a condition that needs closer observation, your optometrist will advise you how frequently you should be checked. Outside of your routine visits, if you experience any worrisome symptoms such as eye pain or decreasing vision, your optometrist should be your first stop.

What happens during an eye test?

A comprehensive examination is often tailored to the individual – such as using age-appropriate tests or additional testing relevant to a known concern. A normal routine check-up includes:

  • Reading letters on a screen to test visual acuity
  • Examining the appearance and health of the front and back of the eyeball
  • Measuring the pressure inside the eye

In addition to these, your optometrist may regularly do other tests such as checking your pupil reactions or taking retinal photos and other scans.

At Junic Eye Care, we provide comprehensive eye tests for patients of all ages. If you’re overdue for your routine visit, or if you have any eye or vision-related concerns at all, book your appointment now on 02 6152 8585.

References

Sustainability for optometry and primary eye health care. https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2019-03/360985-Optometry-Australia.pdf

2022 Vision Index.

https://www.optometry.org.au/wp-content/uploads/GVFL/Vision_Index/2022-Vision-Index-Report.pdf

Author: Juliet Menakaya, O.D MPH

CANBERRA OPTOMETRIST Juliet obtained her Doctor of Optometry degree from the University of Benin, Nigeria in 2006. She completed an internship programme before migrating to Australia, where she completed a master’s degree in public health at the University of Sydney in 2014. Following this, Juliet obtained a Master of Orthoptics from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) in 2017. Juliet has completed her competency in optometry examination with OCANZ (Optometry Council of Australia and New Zealand), and obtained her ophthalmic prescribing rights from ACO (Australian College Of Optometry Victoria). Juliet has worked in various positions, including retail Optometry, the Ophthalmology Department at Canberra Hospital, and more recently, at the John Curtin School of Medical Research (ANU). As a dedicated Canberra optometrist, Juliet is passionate about helping people with low vision, and binocular vision anomalies hence her interests in Low Vision Rehabilitation, Eccentric Viewing Training and Paediatric optometry.