When Should I Visit an Optometrist?


Macquarie Centre is one of the iconic shopping destinations in Sydney, which traces its roots back to the 1960s. However, the building itself was constructed in 1981 on a nine-hectare property on Macquarie Park neighbourhood, hence the name. To date, it has 135,000 square miles of floor space, 4,900 parking spaces, and over 350 stores. You will find everything in the shopping complex, from restaurants, luxury boutiques, retail shops, hardware, activities, beauty products, salons, as well as services like dental clinics and eye care.

A Macquarie Centre optometrist is easy to locate since the shopping complex has a store map at strategic locations. But you have a bigger question in mind: how do you know that you need to see one?

What is an Optometrist, and What Do They Do?

There are several misconceptions about what optometrists do. But to simplify the definition, they are considered as eye doctors who can conduct tests, diagnose, and recommend corrective measures to improve your vision. The optometrist needs to complete a degree in Doctor of Optometry after finishing four years in optometry school. You need a college degree before you can be accepted to optometry school.

In contrast, an ophthalmologist has a medical licence that authorises them into performing surgical interventions for severe eye conditions. For instance, glaucoma and cataracts can lead to blindness without proper intervention. In these cases, you go to the ophthalmologist and not the optometrist.

An optician, meanwhile, will only be limited to fitting eyeglasses and contact lenses. They are not authorised to do anything beyond these procedures. You can be an optician without a degree.

When to Visit an Optometrist?

There are some red flags to look for to visit an eye doctor. See if you can recognise the following:

  1. You suffer from frequent headaches — You may suffer from headaches due to eye strain. When you are on your computer for too long or driving for prolonged periods, you may feel a throbbing pain on your head. But they usually go away after rest. Chronic headaches, however, can be a result of astigmatism, which is often associated with near-sightedness. If you haven’t had a checkup before, now is the time to see an eye doctor.
  2. You see flashes and floaters — Floaters refers to those dust-like images that sometimes obstruct your vision. Try looking up at the sky, for example, and you will see one. However, they often multiply and magnify if you have some problems with your vision. You may also notice some bright flash or a shadow from your peripheral vision.
  3. Eye fatigue — Do you feel a numbing sensation in your eye just behind the pupil? Do you feel like your eyes are hurt or tired all the time? Again, it could probably be a simple eye strain, which can be rectified through proper rest. But it can also indicate a failing vision.
  4. Squinting — Do you need to squint to make up the words when you read a book or a poster? It is the most obvious sign of deteriorating vision, and it will only worsen unless you visit an eye doctor.

Eye infection can also lead to vision problems. Among the symptoms are redness, stinging pain, swelling, light sensitivity, and even some discharge coming out of the eye. Also, if you get an eye infection, don’t delay your visit to a Macquarie Centre Optometrist to identify the problem.