Showing posts with label Eye exams for young children. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eye exams for young children. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

How Often Should You Get An Eye Exam?

Eye exams for young children

By age 3, your child should get his or her first eye exam, according to the University of Utah Health Care. An eye doctor can begin checking for signs of early problems like crossed eyes or lazy eye. 

A comprehensive eye exam is usually recommended between ages 3 and 5. However, the American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends earlier and more frequent eye exams if your child has a family history of eye disease, strabismus (eyes that are turned or crossed), had a low birth weight or was born prematurely, has any developmental delays, already wears eyeglasses, or if the child’s mother had an infection while pregnant.

Aging and its effect on eye exam frequency

The Glaucoma Research Foundation emphasizes that it’s important to have your eyes examined regularly. Their recommended schedule for getting your eyes checked is every 2-to-4 years until you turn 40.

After age 40, the recommended eye exam schedule accelerates to once every 1-to-3 years, and then bumps up again after age 55 to every year or two. 

Vision considerations for the elderly

Because aging vision can degenerate quickly, recommends getting a full eye exam
every 6-to-12 months – not years – after age 65.  This is especially important if you are still driving, as impaired vision can not only make it hard to read signs, it can put your life and the lives of others at risk.

If you’re caring for an elderly parent or relative, make sure that they know about this increased frequency, as it may come as a surprise to them that a year should not pass without them getting an eye exam.

Medical factors and eye exam frequency

Beyond the normal patterns of aging that affect how often you should have your eyes examined, there are medical conditions that can shake up the equation.  Many of the diseases that threaten vision can be cured, prevented, or at least delayed if the condition is detected early enough. 


A condition that results in the gradual loss of your vision, glaucoma is an increased pressure in the eyeball. Glaucoma can be detected early as part of a comprehensive eye exam. Early detection is the best way to protect your vision from glaucoma-related damage, according to Glaucoma Research Foundation.

Risk factors for glaucoma include being African-American, Asian, being over age 60, having a family history of glaucoma, or being a steroid user. See a full list of glaucoma risk factors here.


If you have diabetes, you may be at greater risk for cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and other eye diseases.  Those with diabetes are advised to have eye examinations every year.

Signs of eye trouble

Even if it’s not time for your regularly scheduled eye exam, do not wait if you or one of your children are blinking or rubbing eyes, getting headaches, or squinting to read things. These can be signs of an eye issue worth immediate attention.

A comprehensive eye exam

A comprehensive eye examination differs a bit depending on age, but usually includes a personal and family history eye health review, an eye chart check of near and far vision, testing for astigmatism or presbyopia, checking eye coordination, glaucoma testing, and analyzing the insides of the eye to check for cataracts or macular degeneration.

Your eyes are important, and deserve the care and attention they need to function properly. By getting your regular exam and keeping a close watch for any potential problems, you can keep them healthy, and working at their best.

Ric Moxley
Contributing Writer