When you move away from home to start attending college, it is tempting to start letting things like regular medical care and eye exams slide. With your busy schedule and limited funds, scheduling an eye exam may simply not be at the top of your to-do list. However, it is important to continue getting regular eye exams during those busy college years. Here's why.

1. You will need a current prescription if you wear contact lenses.

If you wear contact lenses, you will need to have regular eye exams in order to get a current prescription so you can continue to buy new contact lenses. Your prescription can change over time, so you should not just rely on an old prescription for this information. Buying contact lenses online without a prescription is not safe, either, since the lenses may be the wrong size, not sterile, or harmful in another way. The safest way to get contacts is directly through your eye doctor after an eye exam.

2. Conditions like glaucoma and macular degeneration can first arise at this stage.

You may figure you don't have to worry about eye diseases like macular degeneration and glaucoma yet. Indeed, most people are not diagnosed with these conditions until they are older. However, it is not unheard of for people to develop these conditions in their early 20s. Regular eye exams ensure these conditions are diagnosed early when they are easiest to treat.

3. Eye exams can diagnose eye strain, which is common in college students.

As a college student, you probably put your eyes under more strain than the average person since you spend all day staring at screens and reading! Eye exams can determine whether any eye fatigue you're experiencing is normal. They also give your eye doctor an opportunity to make recommendations based on their findings. They may, for example, recommend lenses that block blue light when you look at a screen.

4. It's important to have a relationship with an eye doctor in case something goes wrong.

Seeing your eye doctor for regular exams ensures they have the results of the exam on file. Then, if you later develop any concerning eye-related symptoms, your eye doctor will have these older results for comparison, which can help them make an accurate diagnosis.

College is a busy time, but don't let your busyness keep you from seeing an eye doctor for regular exams. In the long run, your eyes will thank you. You can learn more here about eye exams.