Eye Exams

Most people think that eye problems only happen to older people.  While many eye conditions do more often affect older people, eye conditions and diseases can strike at any time from newborn to old age.  And many of the conditions that affect us as we grow older actually start earlier in life.  Protect your - and your family’s - good vision with regular, thorough exams at appropriate times.

Do not confuse a vision screening (the brief test that determines how well you can see an eye chart from a distance of 20 feet) with a comprehensive eye examination. Problems with near vision, eye coordination, and diseases are among many of the problems not detected with a vision screening.

WHEN TO SEE AN EYE DOCTOR

BEFORE AGE 5

Toddlers should be examined for common childhood eye problems such as Strabismus (crossed eyes) and Amblyopia (lazy eye), as well as refractive errors like Nearsightedness and Farsightedness. Children should be examined before age 5 if there is a family history of childhood vision problems, if they appear to have wandering or crossed eyes, or if their pediatrician recommends an eye exam.

AGES 5 AND UP

Schedule an exam every one to two years.

Most young people have healthy eyes. However, you should see an eye doctor if you experience any eye problems such as visual changes, pain, flashes of light, spots, ghost-like images, lines and edges that appear distorted or wavy,
a dark spot in your central vision, excessive tearing, dry eyes with itching or burning, or if you sustain an injury to the eye. One of the most common causes of vision loss in children and young adults is accidental eye injury. Common causes of vision-threatening eye injuries include:

Sports-related accidents

Work-related accidents

Wood or metal shop debris

Debris from yard work

Chemical splashes from household cleaners

Battery acid burns from jump-starting vehicles

Be sure to protect yourself from accidental eye injury by using the appropriate eye protection. Your eye doctor or optician can recommend the right protection for your activities.

Some people may be at higher risk for eye-related diseases and will need to see an eye doctor more often than recommended above. People at risk may include:

African Americans over age 40

People with diabetes

Those with a family history of eye problems

Those with a history of eye injury or other problems

If you or a family member fall into any of these categories, check with your eye doctor to find out how often you need to have an eye exam.

Older adults should be examined at least every one to two years for Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration and other eye conditions.

For more information on eye care, talk to your eye doctor or visit one of the
sites listed bellow.

American Academy of Ophthalmology

American Optometric Association

See your eye doctor because there’s so much more to see.