You hear that question each time you go to visit your Optometrist. How many of us can honestly say we’ve seen the eye doctor within the last year or two? I’ll bet you see your Dentist once or twice a year for routine oral health exams and teeth cleaning. You probably see your family doctor at least once a year, or perhaps more, for routine physicals to stay on top of your general health. Why should visiting your family eye doctor be any different? Now you might be asking yourself how often should I get my eyes examined.
The American Optometric Association has different recommendations for eye exam times based on your age and risk factors. From birth to 24 months of age your newborn should be seen by 6 months old, or sooner, if parents notice anything peculiar. Between the ages of 2 and 5 your youngster should be seen at 3 years old. It’s during these critical times that conditions like crossed eyes, or strabismus, and lazy eye, or amblyopia, can be detected. Between the ages of 6 and 18 your child should be seen before first grade and every two years thereafter or as recommended by your eye doctor. The recommended eye exam frequency for adult patients between the ages of 18 and 60 should be every one to two years for asymptomatic and risk free individuals or annually for those at risk. What are those risk factors you might ask? Patients at risk include those:
- With diabetes, hypertension, or a family history of ocular disease such as glaucoma or macular degeneration
- Taking prescription or non-prescription drugs with ocular side effects
- Contact lens wearers
- Working in occupations that are visually demanding or hazardous to your eye health
- Who have had any type of eye surgery
- And those with other health concerns or conditions
Your family eye doctor knows your eyes better than anyone, so follow his or her recommendation for your routine eye health and vision examination and remember to “Check yearly… See clearly”.
Author: Dr. Scott Chenore
Greeley Eyecare Center – Vision Source
5290 West 9th Street Drive, Greeley CO