Though many people view eye tests solely as a means of establishing whether they need a new prescription for their glasses or contact lenses, the examinations actually have many other hidden benefits.
One of these is that opticians are often able to spot serious underlying conditions by checking people's eyesight – something that Ballymena resident Claire Kearns recently discovered.
She revealed to the Ballymena Times that she had been suffering from headaches for about a year but had never found out why, until she went for an eye test at her local opticians.
The optician discovered that there was swelling of her optic nerves resulting in severe intracranial pressure, and she was soon referred to a doctor, who recommended she undergo a lumbar puncture.
After making a receovery, Ms Kearns said she could never have imagined that something as simple as an eye test could have helped identify something as dangerous as the benign intracranial hypertension.
"I strongly support the need for regular eye examinations. You just don’t know how serious underlying conditions can be," she told the newspaper.
"I now encourage all my family and friends to get their eyes tested every year and that way they can keep on top of both their eyesight and health."