Having your eyes examined regularly is a necessary part of maintaining good health. Most vision problems can occur without any symptoms, so it may be difficult to recognize when a problem exists. How regularly you should have an eye exams depend on your age and other medical issues.
- Infants should be evaluated at 6 months old, or as recommended by a pediatrician.
- Children between the ages of 2 and 5 should have their vision evaluated at 3 years of age.
- Between the ages of 6 and 18, children should have their eyes checked before they enter first grade, and then every one or two years depending on their needs.
- Patients who are between the ages of 18 and 60 should have their eyes checked every two years.
- Patients over the age of 60 should have their eyes checked every year.
There are a number of additional factors that would require a patient to have more frequent exams, such as: if you have diabetic condition, a family history of ocular diseases, wear contact lenses or have had a previous eye surgery. Others signs you should look out for include: trouble seeing signs while driving at night, headaches/blurred vision after spending time in front of a computer screen, or feeling motion sick and have trouble following a moving target.
Adults going into an eye exam can expect one or more of the following:
- A conversation about your health history
- A reading chart to measure visual acuity
- A refraction to measure the need and strength of glasses
- Tests to measure depth perception and peripheral vision
- Test of ocular health including glaucoma and cataracts
- Tests to measure the strength of contact lenses needed and their continued success
While these tests are the most common, in some cases advanced screening and/or exams will be required.
If you have any questions about your eye health or the frequency of your exams, please consult with your optometrist, ophthalmologist, or your primary care doctor.