January is a strange and stressful month. After you’ve finally managed to get the whiff of mulled wine out of your curtains, and you’ve long since stopped finding occasional bits of tinsel lodged deep inside your inner ear, you start asking yourself some serious questions. Like, how did I eat an entire tub of Miniature Heroes every day for a fortnight? How did I manage to gain all this weight in two short weeks? How can I possibly get healthy again? You start to panic. You scroll endlessly through health blog after health blog. You start writing lists of these things called ‘resolutions’.
Slow down, take a deep breath. It’s okay. We’re all in the same boat here. We all did things we regretted over the Christmas period. Some, yes, you can work on, resolve over time. Others, it’s maybe best forgetting. With resolutions, you need to be realistic. Prioritise the things that are really important and things you can actually achieve. Now, let’s pick up the pen again.
Right there, somewhere near the top of your list you’ve written ‘finally get my eyes checked’ or ‘go for an eye test’ or something like that. Wait, you didn’t? Well, you should have. Eye tests aren’t just a good way of starting to resolve those eye problems you’ve been ignoring since the Christmas before last, they also help monitor loads of other potential health problems. If you still need more convincing, here are some signs you should have picked up on over Crimbo that it’s about time you booked an eye test.
1. You’ve noticed changes in your vision
It might be that you found you’re still struggling to read on the super-sharp retina screen of your brand-spanking-new Ipad, that you shuffled the sofa that little bit closer to squint at the Jools Holland Hootenanny this year, or that you were never exactly sure who it was that was visiting you over the Christmas period. If you’re not seeing like you used to, if you’ve noticed changes in your vision, it’s time you booked yourself in for an eye test. It’s as simple as that.
These changes can be subtle or they can be big. As well as blurring and double vision, things like your eyes feeling extra tired or dry are all symptoms of bigger problems that should be investigated. Just because they’re easy to ignore now, doesn’t mean they will be for long and you might be delaying an essential diagnosis. And by the way, this might seem obvious but the absolute best place to get to the bottom of eyesight problems isn’t searching Google for dubious quick-fixes, it’s booking an appointment with a trained optometrist, like us.
2. You’ve not had an eye test since Love Actually was in the cinemas
So you can remember when you first wept at Hugh Grant and Martine McCutcheon’s onscreen smooch, what Christmas was like before we were all glued to mobile phones, and, while a little blurry, almost exactly how you partied on New Year’s Eve 1999, but can you remember when you last got your eyes tested?
Unlike other parts of our bodies, our eyes don’t tend to hurt much when there’s something wrong. That’s why, as well as organising one when you notice a problem, you should book eye tests regularly too. Generally, we recommend every two years. That way, you’ll be making sure that any problems are identified and prevented before they get any worse and you’ll stand a much better chance at being able to gawp at Mr Grant’s Prime Minister for many more Christmases to come.
3. You want to get healthier
Yeah, yeah. We’ve all heard you’re already signed up to a year’s worth of Naked Vegan Knitting Yoga classes down the village hall. And good for you! Physical exercise and eating better are good steps forward on the road to being healthier in 2020, but you do need to be careful that you’re covering all the bases and not just jumping on the latest health fads.
In a world that’s noisy with attention-pinching health gurus, eye health can easily slip out of your priority list. Rather than joining in with that noise and coercing you into an eye test by listing scary facts (like the fact you only have one pair of eyes), we’re just going to let you in on a little secret: Getting an eye test is easy. Easy peasy, in fact. Not only is it a really, really great way of making sure you’re eyes are in good shape and you’re free of a host of other health problems, having an eye test requires almost no effort on your part. So put down the yarn, turn off the Enya, and put your clothes back on. Simply going to your first eye test in a while is a good place to start for your New Year’s health kick.
4. Eye diseases run in the family
While listening to your Great Uncle Albert reel off a detailed list of the many ailments he’s facing in old age probably wasn’t the most riveting of after-Christmas dinner conversation, it is really important that you’re in the know about that sort of thing.
There are over 350 hereditary ocular diseases including things like corneal dystrophies and glaucoma. If you hear that a relative suffers from a specific eye problem or disease, booking an eye test and letting your optician know will drastically improve the likelihood of the same problem being caught early in you. If found early enough, it could be the difference between the problem being prevented or not.
5. You’re not half as young as you used to be
Whether it was the pre-Christmas party hangover that lasted until well after New Year’s day, or the cackle of your niece as she tried in vain to show you how to upload one of these Instant Photograms onto that World Wide Website, if the events of the Christmas period have had you asking yourself ‘Where the heck have all the years gone?’, it might be time to get an eye test.
Getting regular eye tests is advised for people of all ages, but if you’ve now officially slipped into the foothills of middle age, or you’ve been hiding out there for a while, it’s especially important. From the age of 40 upwards, booking an eye examination at least every two years is a very good way of monitoring, not just the health of your eyes, but also - you guessed it - spotting the hidden symptoms of lots of other health problems like high blood pressure and diabetes; all of which are increasingly common the older you get.
Where can you take an eye test in Manchester?
So, is this it? The year you finally get booked in for an eye test. Go you! The best place to book an eye test in Manchester is with us at Seen Opticians. If you want to book an appointment, you can call the team on 0161 8352324, click that giant 'Book an Appointment' button down there to request an appointment online, or, if you prefer, why not walk into Seen HQ and arrange it face to face.