Disease Prevention: How Often Should You Get Your Eyes Examined?

Did you know that about 93 million American adults have a high risk of vision loss? Unfortunately, only about 50% of them saw an eye doctor in the last year.

Vision loss and eye diseases are no joke and regular eye exams are important to maintaining your vision. Vision loss happens subtly and sometimes suddenly.

In this article, we discuss eye exams and the role they play in disease prevention.

Eye Disease and Vision Loss

There are many types of eye disease. Some are unavoidable as we age, such as presbyopia. You can read more on presbyopia but it’s essentially age-related loss of near vision.

Many people don’t know they’re in danger of losing their vision until they visit the eye doctor. That’s why it’s essential to have regular eye exams.

How Often Do You Need an Eye Examination?

Although many eye diseases start later in life, it’s important for children to have eye exams too. Starting at age 3, an eye doctor tests for amblyopia which is a common cause for vision loss in children.

It’s crucial that young children have their vision tested for this disease to avoid losing their vision in one eye. Amblyopia is the most common cause of one-eye vision loss in children and adults.

Eye Exams for Children

From 0 to 3 years children need eye exams at these times:

  • Once between newborn and 3 months
  • Once from 6 months to 1 year
  • Once at about 3 years of age
  • Once at about 5 years of age

If you notice your child squinting his eyes, tilting his head to see, or complaining of blurry eyes, get him to an eye doctor immediately.

Eye Exams for Diabetics

Do you have diabetes? It’s important you have an eye exam with dilation every year. Dilation is when the doctor puts drops in your eyes to dilate the pupils.

Dilation lets the doctor see into your eyes better because it lets more light into your eyes. The doctor can then check for diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and other eye diseases.

Routine Eye Exams for Healthy Adults

Are you a healthy adult under the age of 45 who sees her doctor for regular preventive exams and blood work every year? Then you can get an eye exam every few years. Don’t go beyond three years without an eye exam.

If you’re over 45, your risk for many diseases, including eye diseases, increases significantly. At 45 and older, get an annual eye examination.

Protecting Your Vision

There are some things you can do to protect your vision no matter your age. In addition to the above eye exam schedule:

  • Don’t smoke
  • Avoid excessive alcohol use
  • Eat lots of vegetables, especially leafy greens
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Wear 99%-100% UV-A and UV-B blocking sunglasses

Take good care of your health to take good care of your eyesight. If you get a lot of screen time on computers or a smartphone, rest your eyes every 20 minutes to reduce eyestrain.

Vision-Loss Prevention Through Regular Eye Exams

Prevention is key when it comes to preventing vision loss, especially when it’s due to undetected disease. See your eye doctor for regular exams and keep your precious sight!

Are you looking for more articles about health? Check out the health and fitness sections on the blog!


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