How Often Should I Have My Eyes Examined?
Are you visiting your eye doctor regularly? When was the last time you had an eye exam? The rules for eye exams aren’t necessarily clearly laid out. You probably go to your primary doctor annually for a physical or routine blood work and an exam. You also likely visit your dentist for cleanings twice a year, but do you schedule regular appointments with your eye doctor?
Why You Need to Have Your Eyes Examined
Your eye health is important. In fact, it’s just as important to get your eyes examined regularly as it is to have an annual physical. If you’re not seeing your eye doctor often enough, you run the risk of developing eye diseases and other complications that you may not catch until it’s too late.
There’s also the matter of your vision. You may believe that you can see perfectly clearly, but when you finally have your eyes checked your doctor may tell you that you need glasses. Suddenly, you go from believing you have 20/20 vision to relying on your glasses or contacts to drive your car.
Improving your vision is important for your personal safety and the safety of those around you. Over 11 million Americans over the age of 12 need glasses or contact lenses to see properly. If you don’t see your eye doctor regularly, how do you know if you’re included in that group?
When Should You Have Your Eyes Examined
The answer to this question is based on a number of factors: your age, family history, pre-existing conditions, and other key factors. These all determine your risk of certain diseases, the strength of your vision, and your overall eye health. If you’re concerned about how often you need to have your eyes examined, talk to your eye doctor. Together you can come up with a plan.
At the bare minimum, you should be seeing your eye doctor every two years. This will allow you to have your vision checked and for your optometrist to dilate your eyes and check for indications of early-stage diseases that could impact your vision.
Treating certain conditions early can help prevent vision loss or blindness. These are easiest to find when your eyes are dilated during an exam. Some common conditions that best treated early on are the following:
- Diabetic Retinopathy
- Age-related Macular Degeneration
How Often Should You Have Your Eyes Examined?
If you don’t have vision problems or any concerns, you should have your eyes examined every two years.
Children should have their vision and eyes checked each year. This is especially true when they are between the ages of three and five. During this time, the doctor can spot risk factors for certain eye diseases.
Adults with diabetes should have their eyes examined annually. This disease can cause a condition called Diabetic Retinopathy which causes damage to the blood vessels and often leads to blindness.
Anyone who is at risk for Glaucoma should have an annual exam, as well. People with the highest risk are over 60, have a family history of the disease, or are African American over the age of 40.
How often should you have your eyes examined? Any time you have pain, difficulty seeing, or other concerns, you should schedule an appointment with your optometrist. If you have concerns or are interested in scheduling an appointment for an exam, contact or call our office today.