Regular visits with your eye doctor play an important role in maintaining your overall health. A comprehensive eye exam involves much more than just a vision test and can provide valuable insights into your general health, including screening for the early signs of a number of potentially vision-threatening eye diseases and health conditions.
How often you visit your eye doctor will depend on factors such as age and health status, but generally speaking, adults 18-64 years old should see their optometrist every two years, and children 6-17 years old should have an annual eye exam.
The recommended frequency for eye exams varies for other age ranges, which can be found in the following schedule:
How Often Do I Need an Eye Exam?
- Age 1: Infants should have their first eye exam
- Age 2-5: Children should have at least one eye exam
- Age 6-17: School-age children should have their eyes examined every year
- Age 18-64: Adults should have their eyes examined at least once every two years
- Age 65+: Older adults should have their eyes examined every year.
If you or a family member are overdue for an eye exam, there is no need to fret. You can easily book an eye exam at our office in Solana Beach by clicking here.
Routine eye exams are not the only reason you should visit your eye doctor. Your optometrist is your best resource for all of your vision care needs, including seeking diagnosis and treatment for conditions like dry eye and digital eye strain. Some optometry offices are also equipped to handle eye care emergencies.
Why Vision Care Matters
It is a common misconception that you only need to visit the optometrist if you are experiencing vision problems. In fact, according to a survey conducted by the American Optometric Association, nearly half of those surveyed between the ages of 23-38 do not think they need an eye exam if their vision is clear. This is false.
During your routine eye exam, your optometrist will conduct a complete examination of your eye health and vision, often using advanced diagnostic technology to screen for potentially vision-threatening eye health conditions such as glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Glaucoma and AMD are common eye conditions in the United States and can begin to develop without any symptoms, meaning they are difficult to notice during their early stages without an eye exam.
Your optometrist may also look for the signs of other health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer during a comprehensive eye exam. Individuals who are already living with health conditions like diabetes may need to see their optometrist at least once a year, regardless of age.
How Often Do I Need an Eye Exam?
Eye Exams for Children
Vision plays a vital role in your child’s development and how they interact with the world. Establishing good vision care habits with your child, including regularly taking them to the eye doctor, can help them maintain healthy vision for life.
Infants should have their first eye exam when they are 1 year old. This initial exam will help ensure that their eyes are developing as expected.
Even before a child can read or write, their vision plays an important role in abilities like hand-eye coordination and depth deception. Between the ages of 3-5, children should have at least one comprehensive eye exam.
Once children are old enough to enter the classroom, the demand for their visual abilities grows exponentially. Between the ages of 6-17, children should visit their eye doctor every year. During this period, children can develop vision problems like myopia (nearsightedness) that can have a negative impact on their performance in school.
Some children may have trouble expressing or even identifying that they are experiencing vision problems. As a parent, you can watch for signs of vision problems, including;
- Frequently squinting
- Frequently rubbing their eyes or blinking
- Complaining of frequent headaches
- Holding reading materials close to their face
- Covering one eye
- Short attention span
- Avoiding close activities like reading
Eye Exams for Adults
It’s around the age of 20 that our eyes stop developing, but this doesn’t mean that vision changes end there. Adults, especially those over the age of 40, may experience presbyopia, a refractive error that makes it difficult to see things up close. Even individuals who have previously had perfect vision may start to require corrective lenses as they enter middle age.
It is also during this stage of life that you may start to experience difficulty seeing in low-light environments and develop dry eyes as your tear production slows with age.
While most adults do not require regular eye exams as frequently as children and seniors, eye exams should still be a part of your healthcare routine through adulthood. Adults generally benefit from seeing their optometrist every two years.
Eye Exams for Adults Over 65
As you get older, your vision needs can change. Adults over 65 should see their eye doctor at least once every year for a comprehensive eye exam to check on their vision and overall health.
Serious eye conditions like glaucoma, AMD, and cataracts are more likely to develop in older adults. Because glaucoma and AMD can start to develop without any warning signs, and both can lead to blindness if left untreated, getting routine eye exams is important for older adults.
You can help ensure that your vision lasts a lifetime by staying up-to-date with your yearly eye exam.
Your Next Eye Exam with a Team That Cares
Routine eye exams are an important part of maintaining good eye health and vision. If it has been more than a year or two since your last exam, it’s time to prioritize booking an appointment and checking in with your optometrist.