You’ve had your eyes checked a couple of years ago with your optometrist. You had new glasses made, and advice was given to help with your vision. You now received a couple of reminders saying your eye test is due. You haven’t noticed any changes to your vision, and you’re still happy with the glasses you are using at the moment. Why would you need to see your optometrist again?
Understanding the Importance of Recalls
Just like routine visits to your dentist are essential for maintaining your oral health. Regular eye check-ups are just as crucial in keeping your eye health. A regular visit to your dentists will help your dentists identifying any potential issues and address them early. Your eyes are no exception, and we would want to identify any threats to your vision or eye health before it potentially affects your eyesight permanently.
The interval between your eye exams with your optometrist is determined by your recall period. Standard routine recall periods set by your optometrist is generally 2 – 3 years. If you are at risk of developing eye diseases such as macular degeneration, glaucoma or cataracts, your optometrist may want to review you more regularly such as every 6 – 12 months. At your initial routine comprehensive eye examination, our optometrists assess at the health of your eyes in extreme detail, along with necessary eye scans such as OCT to gain a deeper understanding of your eye health. This allows our optometrist to provide advice accurately and determining the best recall period for you.
As a rule of thumb, patients under 18 years of age are encouraged to have their eye test every two years. This is because kids vision can change quite rapidly, and they may not always tell their parents or their guardians when it does so. Children with poor vision are at significant risk of developing a “lazy” eye, affecting their learning at school.
Patients between 25 – 50 are encouraged to have their eyes tested at least once every five years, regardless if they are wearing any glasses or have any vision problems. Quite often, patients in this age group with prescribed glasses would need an eye test every two years to ensure their prescription is still valid to continue wearing.
Patients between 50 and 65 often have their eyes tested at least once every two years. Patients above the age of 65 are encouraged to have their eyes tested every year regardless of any vision concerns.
I’ve received my recall reminder. What shall I do?
If you’ve had an eye test in the past, regardless of how long ago it has been, you would have received at least some reminder that your eye test is due. Responding to these reminders is the number one actionable item you can do for your eye health. But responding appropriately is even better.
If you’re like most patients, you’ve probably have been to multiple optometry practices throughout your time in Canberra. As a result, you may have received multiple repeated messages that your eye exam is due. It is essential to decide who is your principal optometrist in looking after your eye health. The recalls you are receiving are indeed tailored to you, but they are also tailored to the optometrist’s advice given then.
For example, patients coming to our optometry practice here in Barton, Canberra, all new patients are mostly subjected to a recall period of two years. After the initial two-yearly recall, returning patients to our practice may be extended to three or even four years. We could potentially extend the recall from the standard two-yearly review for our returning patients because we now have an even more in-depth understanding of our patient’s eye health. As our advice is tailored to the individual, it is in your best interest where possible to see the same optometrist or at least the same practice for all your eye health needs.
The Bottom Line
Just like your dentist appointment reminders, optometry recalls are an essential part of looking after and maintaining your eye health. Recalls are set based on your initial appointment and adjusted for future appointments as we gain more insight into your eye health at each visit. To benefit from these insights, it is possible to have your eyes examined by the same optometrist, or at least at the same optometry practice to ensure your advice is concise and consistent. If you haven’t had your eyes check for quite some time, consider making a comprehensive eye exam appointment with us at Capital Eye, Barton, Canberra.