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How often and why do you need to check your eyesight?

Tomorrow, October 13, is World Sight Day and we can think of no better occasion than this to remember the importance of making an appointment for an ophthalmological examination to prevent eye problems. But how often is it important to review our vision? If we have no symptoms, should we also schedule a visit to the specialist?

Dr. David Antolín, head of the Ophthalmology Service at the Torrejón University Hospital, managed by the Ribera health group, answers this and many other questions clearly and simply. “Many serious eye pathologies do not show previous symptoms or when they do, it may be too late to treat them”, he says. We cannot think that because we see more or less well, do not have blurred vision or see “flies” or “flickers” that we do not have a problem with our eyes. Sometimes we don’t detect the problems with symptoms like this and the only way to identify the beginning of a pathology that can end up being serious is to go to the ophthalmologist at least once a year. Or every two years at most. This is Dr. Antolín’s advice.

Which eye diseases can be prevented and treated with regular checkups?

Lazy eye or myopia. Especially in the case of childrenas a standard preventive measure, it is advisable to have their eyes checked by a specialist once a year from the age of three. Both lazy eye and nearsightedness are eye problems that are sometimes difficult to detect without an examination, and can impair studies – for example, when a child is unable to read well what the teacher is writing on the board – and come to affect their working life. An untreated lazy eye can cause damage and limit career aspirations that require high standards of vision.

Tired view. As Dr. Antolín explains, tired eyesight is a “relatively banal pathology, it is not serious and can be treated in some cases, but it is a good reason to go for a general vision check, and thus measure the eye tension, for example, to detect the principles of glaucoma“.

Glaucoma. Glaucoma is a set of conditions that damage the optic nerve “and that can end our vision before we realize it and without a remedy”, explains Dr. Antolín. That is why it is important to go to regular check-ups so that the specialist is able to detect the risk factors of this pathology and thus slow it down and/or treat it.

cataracts. Our specialist assures that most patients think that the most common symptom is blurred vision. But sometimes this is not the case and some waterfalls “can harden and complicate handling”, he explains, because the loss is so gradual that we don’t notice it and we compensate for this small loss of vision with glasses. However, Dr. Antolín explains that there are cases in which cataracts can become difficult to operate on and end up greatly limiting the patient’s vision. Screenings for early detection are key.

Macular degenerations or diseases of the retina. They are also pathologies that can be treated if specialists detect them in time. “There are already medicines to treat this type of case and also intraocular lenses. But only if they are detected in time”, he explains.

For all this, it is very important to go to an eye health check-up at least once a year and thus prevent or detect any pathology early.

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