How Often Do I Need an Eye Exam?

How Often Do I Need an Eye Exam?

How Often Do I Need an Eye Exam?

How often should you get your eyes checked? Many people are not sure. They may go years between eye exams or wait until they have blurry vision. But eye doctors recommend regular eye exams to keep your eyes healthy. 


Why Eye Exams Matter


Seeing an eye doctor regularly is about more than glasses. Complete eye exams check for eye diseases and other problems. Some issues have no symptoms at first. Finding them early means better outcomes. 


An eye doctor can also monitor changes in vision over time. They can advise you on protecting your sight as you age. Be sure to schedule an exam before vision issues arise. Be proactive about your eye health.


Exam Frequency for Children


The American Optometric Association recommends eye exams at six months old, three years old, before starting school (around age five), and every one to two years in grade school. Young children cannot easily communicate vision problems. But eye exams can catch issues like nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, lazy eye, and misaligned eyes. Early treatment leads to better vision outcomes.


Exam Frequency for Adults


Adults between 18 and 60 with no vision issues or risk factors should have an eye exam every one to two years. Those with risk factors may need annual exams to help check the following:


  • Family history of glaucoma or macular degeneration

  • High blood pressure, diabetes, or other systemic conditions

  • Taking medications with ocular side effects

  • Exposure to UV light or blue light from screens

  • Previous eye injuries or surgeries


During exams, eye doctors watch for:


  • Presbyopia - age-related near vision difficulty

  • Cataracts - clouding of the lens

  • Glaucoma - increased pressure in the eyes that harms the optic nerve

  • Macular degeneration - retina damage from aging


Finding these early allows for better management. Do not skimp on eye health as you get older.


Exam Frequency for Seniors


Adults over 60 should have annual eye exams. Vision changes more rapidly at this age. Eye diseases are also more common. Yearly exams help address eye problems quickly.


Tips for Seniors to Protect Their Vision Health


Get a baseline eye exam when you turn 65, even if you have no vision problems. This gives your doctor a benchmark to monitor future changes. Make sure to schedule annual eye exams specifically for glaucoma testing as recommended. You should also monitor your vision daily and contact your eye doctor immediately about any new changes you notice. 


As your vision changes with age, regularly update your eyeglasses prescription. Ask your doctor if particular vitamins could help support eye health. Do not just assume vision issues are a normal part of aging. Get your eyes thoroughly checked yearly to preserve your sight as you age.


Vision Changes Between Exams


If you notice any new vision problems suddenly arise between your regular eye exams, schedule an appointment immediately. Quick changes in your vision could signal a severe eye issue. 


It could be an eye injury or infection, retinal detachment, stroke or mini-stroke, diabetic retinopathy, or sudden onset glaucoma. Rapid vision changes are a red flag. Contact your optometrist promptly to get your eyes thoroughly evaluated. The sooner you get checked, the better the outcome will likely be.


Bottom Line


Regular eye exams are vital at any age. Be sure to schedule an appointment whether or not you have clear vision. Catching issues early keeps your eyes healthy now and in the future.


For more on eye exams, visit Kopolow & Girisgen Doctors of Optometry at our offices in Henderson or Las Vegas, Nevada. Call (702) 452-2020 or (702) 341-7254 to schedule an appointment today.

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