Regardless of how old you are, or your health, it's essential to have regular eye examinations.
During a comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor will decide upon your prescription for glasses or contacts and will also check your eyes for commonplace eye diseases. Your eye doctor will also evaluate how your eyes work together, and assess your eyes as an indicator of your overall health.
A complete eye examination includes various tests and procedures which are designed to evaluate the health of your eyes and the quality of your sight. Some of these tests are simple, like having you read an eye chart, and some are complicated, such as using a powerful lens to examine the tissues inside of your eyes.
Eyecare specialists recommend you have a thorough eye exam every one to three years, depending on how old you are, your health, and any risk factors.
Children. Certain eyecare specialists estimate that approximately 5% to 10% of pre-schoolers and 25% of school-aged children have vision issues. The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends that all children have their eyes checked at 6 months of age, at age 3 and before school starts. Children who don't have vision problems or risk factors for eye problems should have an eye examination every two years, at a minumum, throughout school.
Children who have current vision issues or risk factors should have an eye examination more often. Common risk factors for vision issues include:
- premature birth
- developmental delays
- turned or crossed eyes
- family history of eye disease
- history of eye injury
- other physical illness or disease
The AOA suggests that children who currently wear glasses or contacts have an eye examination annually or according to their eye doctor's instructions. Read more about Pediatric Eye Exams.
Adults. The AOA recommends a yearly eye exam for all adults who currently wears glasses or contacts. If you don't generally need vision correction, you should have an eye examination every two or three years until the age of 40, depending on how quickly your vision is changing and general health. Doctors often recommend that adults with diabetes, high blood pressure and other disorders have eye exams more often, because many diseases can have a negative impact on vision and eye health.
When you reach 40, you should have an eye exam every one to two years to check for commonplace age-related eye issues such as presbyopia, cataracts and macular degeneration. Read more about Vision After 40.
The risk of eye disease continues to increase with advancing age, therefore everyone over the age of 60 should have a yearly eye examination. Read more about Vision After 60.