Doctors recommend we have regular check-ups to ensure our bodies are functioning correctly, but unless you have an immediate problem with your eyes, a routine eye check-up is often an overlooked aspect of healthcare.
A routine eye check-up is essential for your health, although when to get your eyes checked largely depends on your age, eye health, and family history.
According to the American Optometric Association, your child’s first eye exam should take place at six months of age. A simple eye test around the age of three and again before your child begins school allows your eye doctor to address any issues before they can become more significant.
Health professionals recommend that people under the age of 40 get a routine eye check-up every two years if they have no previous vision problems or a prior family history of eye conditions. Those with significant eye issues or a family history may need to have a check-up annually.
From the age of 65, you should have an eye exam every year.
If you have had previous trauma to the eye, surgery, or eye infections, you may need to schedule an eye check-up more often. Your eye doctor will advise how often you should have your eyes checked.
Your family history plays a significant role in how often you should see your eye doctor. Glaucoma, for example, can be hereditary, so if you have a family history of eye conditions, your eye doctor may recommend annual check-ups to monitor you for symptoms.
What to expect in an eye exam
You can book different eye exams depending on the checks you need. For a simple eye screening, you can see an optometrist, who will check your vision and advise you if you need to visit an ophthalmologist for a comprehensive exam.
A comprehensive eye exam lasts between 30 and 60 minutes. Your eye doctor will take a full medical history and test your visual acuity, depth perception, peripheral vision, color vision, and eye muscle function.
They will also examine the surface of your eye and test the pressure of the fluid in your eyes. High intraocular pressure can be an early sign of glaucoma. Depending on the results of these tests, your eye doctor may refer you to a specialist.
Most eye problems are easily treatable if diagnosed early. Don’t risk your sight. Attend eye exams regularly and more often if advised by your eye doctor.