It's a well-established fact that humans are prone to deteriorating vision over the course of their lives. By the time you reach retirement, you're likelier to require reading glasses than you are not to require them. It's common enough that it's easy to handle and nothing to be ashamed of or concerned about. However, because it's not such a pressing concern, and because it's so far in the future for many younger people, taking care of your eyes may fall low on your priority list.
If that's the case, it's understandable — but your optometrist would much prefer that you bump it up a few places on the list, and it's worth following that advice. Here's why.
Comfort for Now
Not all eye problems develop in later life. One study of Australian adults holds that 61% of adults use some form of vision correction — either glasses or contact lenses. What percentage would use them if everybody visited the optometrist frequently enough? It's difficult to say — but clearly, young adults are more than capable of developing problems with their vision well before old age. As such, even if you don't feel you currently have any problems, you should start visiting now.
Spotting Early Signs
If you've been having annual eye checkups for your entire life, it will be much easier for your optometrist to spot a problem if one should emerge; it will be an obvious anomaly in the history of your health, and they can begin treating it immediately. If you only turn up when you start having problems, it may be harder for the eye doctor to determine what the issue is, and why it has arisen. This is especially true if you have other small issues with your eyes which you have either failed to notice or have presumed were normal over the years.
Screen Strain and Modern Concerns
Research is still underway regarding how the eyes are affected by the use of digital screens in the long-term. Some studies have shown that the 'blue light' given off by computer screens and smartphones is dangerous for your eyes; others disagree, suggesting that while blue light can be harmful in large doses, the amount you come into contact with in daily life is not nearly enough to cause damage.
While experts disagree on this, continuing to visit an optometrist is wise in case there really is a danger there. Equally, it's known for certain that using screens for too many hours a day can strain your eyes and cause headaches, so it's best to offset that as best you can with annual checkups.
In short, the health of your eyes is not just a future problem. You're likelier to face more issues the older you get, but that doesn't mean you're entirely safe from them now — and considering that a visit will only take half an hour once a year, it's no great hardship to keep track.