How Often Should You Get an Eye Exam?

When you have an appointment for dental care, the dentists tell you to have a dental exam every six months. Is it the same with eye exams? Some people say that they only visit eye care providers when it is time for a new prescription for glasses or contacts. It is a good idea to visit a doctor for preventative care. The human eye is very complex which means there are so many ways how things could go wrong.

Having regular eye appointments will help to monitor your eye health and ensure that everything is going fine. The frequency of eye exams will depend on the age of the patient and risk factors. If you are a parent with an infant, the recommended is around six months and three years old, and once again before he or she reaches first grade. Childhood eye exams are important because they enable eye doctors to diagnose and treat if there are any vision problems before it becomes a hindrance to their learning.

An eye exam is recommended every other year up until you reach the age of 60. If you are a patient whose age is 60 and up, a yearly eye exam is recommended because there may be age-associated eye conditions.

glass on a snellen chart

The Eye Disease Risk Factors

Patients who are at-risk vision should come for eye exams more frequently. Being at-risk vision means you have a family history of glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetes, or hypertension which can be a risk factor for vision problems.

Even prescription medications can be included in risk factors. Certain medications have dry eyes as a side effect. Make sure to monitor side effects of medications to ensure that it does not turn into a serious eye infection and discomfort.

Avoid smoking because it is a major risk factor. Smoking is known to increase the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration.

woman having a headache

Changes in Vision

If you begin to experience any changes to your vision, schedule an eye exam as soon as possible. Do not wait for months or longer just because it is not time yet. These are the following symptoms that indicate the need to visit an eye doctor right away:

  • Blurrier vision
  • Frequent headaches
  • A sudden increase in floaters or bright flashes
  • Light sensitive
  • Loss of night vision or difficulty driving at night

It is advised that patients should make their eye exam schedule a priority. You just want to make sure that your eyes are doing just fine.

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