You may be wondering how often your family should make a visit to your local eye doctor. And is it really necessary to go in for routine exams?… I mean, can’t you just give them a call when something goes wrong?
Keep reading for a run-through on how often (and why!) to get you and your family’s eyes checked..
Birth-2 Years Old:
How often to schedule an exam: At some point, between 6-12 months, parents should bring their little ones in for their first eye exam.
Why: It’s important to have a licensed optometrist check that your child’s eyes are developing properly. Eye problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and eye movement issues can be present even in children this young. Schedule your baby’s first exam for free at Central Point Eyecare.
Exceptions: If your baby was premature or has a family history of eye disease, their sight development should be monitored more closely. For more signs to watch for, on whether or not your infant’s eyesight is developing properly, read this article
3-5 Years Old:
How often to schedule an exam: Preschoolers should have at least one followup exam, to make sure that their sight is continuing to develop correctly.
Why: According to the American Public Health Association, one out of ten preschoolers have eye or vision problems. At this age, sometimes they have underlying conditions which become evident, as they start to watch screens and read books. On the other hand, it can be hard to spot issues because young children may just adjust to their vision deficiencies and never tell their parents they are struggling.
Exceptions: Don’t wait to make an appointment if you notice your child rubbing their eyes often, squinting, or showing sensitivity to light.
6-18 Years Old (school-age):
How often to schedule an exam: They need to be seen before beginning school, and then every 2 years after that
Why: Eighty percent of learning is visual. And yet, 13% of parents have never taken their child to get their eyes checked— with a much larger percentage waiting too long between exams. So it’s no surprise that many children are struggling in school, often misdiagnosed with learning disabilities; as well as being affected in their sports and driving performance.
Exceptions: Kids and teens should be seen more often if vision problems have been identified, or if eye injuries take place. Kids with neurological disorders or learning disabilities should also be monitored by their optometrist.
18-64 Years Old:
How often to schedule an exam: Every two years; or every year for high-risk groups
Why: Unfortunately, the older one gets, the higher risk they become for certain eye diseases, including macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataracts. It’s vital to catch these conditions before they become debilitating—the earlier they are caught, the more there is to be done to restore and save vision.
Exceptions: High-risk eye patients would include those with a family history of eye disease, specific ethnic groups, or diabetes.
65 and Older:
How often to schedule an exam: Annually
Why: By age 65, one in three Americans will have been diagnosed with at least one eye disease or eye condition. Two-thirds of those who are legally blind are seniors. It is important for this age group to keep up with their routine exams, and to follow through with any prescribed treatments and procedures.