Getting regular comprehensive eye exams is an important part of your overall healthcare and wellness. Even if you feel your vision is fine, your brain accommodates for gradual changes with your vision, so you may not even realize there have been changes and that your vision could be sharper and clearer.
How often a person should visit their eye doctor depends on several factors, including age, medical history, whether they wear eyeglasses or contact lenses, and if they currently have a disease which could damage eye health and vision such as diabetes.
How Often Should Children Get an Eye Exam?
Like adults, babies and children may have risk factors which affect how often they should get an eye exam by an optometrist. If there is a family history of vision problems including strabismus, myopia, amblyopia, developmental delays, prematurity, and low birth weight, and whether vision correction is needed all affect how often babies and children should get their eyes examined by an optometrist.
Vision screenings at the pediatrician’s office or at school are not a substitute for eye exams performed by an optometrist. Vision screenings sometimes identify a vision problem or issue, but sometimes vision problems aren’t caught in a vision screening. Even if a vision problem or issue is found during a vision screening, you’ll need to take your child to an optometrist for further examination and a solution.
Birth to Age 2
Babies without any family history of vision problems or other risk factors should get an eye exam at 6 months of age. Babies who have some risk factors should also get at least one eye exam at 6 months of age but may also need another eye exam before age 2, depending on the individual’s vision and eye health needs. The doctor will advise you on the recommended schedule.
Age 3 – Age 5
Children should have at least one pediatric eye exam between the ages of 3 and 5 or as advised by the doctor based on their individual eye health and vision needs.
Age 6 – Age 17
Children should receive an eye exam before they enter first grade and then once each year throughout school. Vision changes rapidly as children grow and develop, which means that even if their vision is fine one year, it may change over the next 12 months, and they may need eyeglasses or contact lenses to see clearly. 1 in 4 children with a correctible refractive error does not have it corrected properly , and since so much of what is learned in school is processed visually, this puts them at a disadvantage.
How Often Should Adults Get an Eye Exam?
General guideline for healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 60 is to see an eye doctor at least once every two years, and after age 60, at least once every year. The recommendation for how often to get an eye exam changes when risk factors come into play, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, family history of vision problems and eye disease, medical history of eye surgeries or injuries, and whether contact lenses or eyeglasses are required to correct vision.
Comprehensive eye exams are about more than good vision. We assess your eye health, screen for eye diseases, and can spot systemic issues of which you may not be aware. Some eye diseases which lead to vision loss or blindness have little to no obvious symptoms in the early stages, and the only way to catch them is through a comprehensive eye exam.
Protect your eye health and vision though regular comprehensive eye exams.