Children should have eye exams as part of their routine medical preventative care. Babies should have their eyes checked at six months to screen for eye diseases. Beginning at age 3, children should have their vision checked every one to two years by their optometrist. Certain factors may cause a child to be more at risk for eye conditions and diseases, and may warrant earlier or more frequent vision testing. These include having been born prematurely, developmental delays, having crossed eyes, having sustained an injury to the eye, and having a family history of eye diseases. If your child has any of these conditions, speak to your optometrist to find out how often they should have their eyes checked.
Adults Age 20 to 39
Adults who wear eyeglasses or contact lenses should see their optometrist annually in order to keep their prescriptions current. Adults who don’t require corrective lenses or any serious health issues can go two years as long as they aren’t experiencing vision or eye problems. Certain problems may warrant more frequent exam visits. These include dry or itchy eyes; seeing distorted images such as spots, wavy lines or flashes of light and eye pain. If you have hypertension or diabetes, you may also need to have your eyes checked more often.
Adults Over Age 40
Adults should have an eye exam at age 40 to screen for age-related eye diseases such as cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma and presbyopia. This screening can also detect early signs of diabetes, high blood pressure and other diseases. After this screening, adults with no eye conditions or corrective lenses should see their eye doctor annually for a routine comprehensive eye exam. Those who have any vision changes or conditions listed above should ask their optometrist how often they need to have their eyes examined. Beginning at age 60, patients should begin having annual eye exams to check for vision changes, eye diseases and other conditions that may affect the eye.