How Often Do I Need a Comprehensive Eye Exam?

How Often Do I Need a Comprehensive Eye Exam?

How Often Do I Need a Comprehensive Eye Exam?

How Often Do I Need a Comprehensive Eye Exam?

How Often Do I Need a Comprehensive Eye Exam?

At a minimum, the American Optometric Association (AOA) suggests getting a comprehensive eye exam once every year. This is even if you have never experienced any eye problems.

A comprehensive eye exam is not just for fixing eyesight problems. It can help assess the general health of your eyes and help you understand how well your eyes work. Besides, the exam can help alert you to potential problems your eyes may develop in the future.

Pediatric Patients

Children who do not use eyeglasses or contact lenses should have a comprehensive eye exam every year. But if you start to notice signs of eyestrain such as frequent eye-rubbing, blinking, or grievances of headaches, your child may need a quick eye exam.

The AOA encourages parents to get their children their first comprehensive eye exam at the age of six to twelve months. The exam will check how well the child’s eye is developing and whether they are at risk for eye problems.

Children at a higher risk of eye problems should see their eye doctor as often as instructed. Factors that can put a child at a higher risk of developing eye and vision problems include:

  • Genetic diseases or a family history of eye diseases like strabismus, myopia, amblyopia, and cataracts.
  • Low birth weight or prematurity.
  • Infections from mother during pregnancy. For example, illnesses like herpes, venereal disease, or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can affect an unborn child.
  • Maternal use of alcohol or tobacco during pregnancy.
  • Eye injuries or previous eye surgery.
  • Taking prescription or non-prescription medicines that have possible harmful effects on the eye.

Adult Patients

Most eye doctors recommend comprehensive eye exams at least once every year even for adults who do not wear eyeglasses or contact lenses.

If you wear prescription glasses, you should have a comprehensive eye exam every year. That is necessary to check your eye health and update your prescription. Contact lens wearers should have a complete eye exam every year to evaluate their eye health and update their prescription.

Your age also determines how often you should get a detailed eye exam. If you are between 18 and 65, you should have your eyes checked annually or as often as your eye doctor suggests. Adults above the age of 65 should have a comprehensive eye exam yearly or as frequently as the doctor recommends.

Additionally, you may need a comprehensive eye exam at least once a year if you are at considerable risk of developing eye issues. Factors that may put you at a greater risk for eye issues include:

  • Personal or family history of eye complications.
  • Using contact lenses.
  • Eye injuries.
  • Previous eye surgery.
  • Taking over-the-counter or prescription drugs that can cause eye problems.
  • Certain sports activities and occupations that are more likely to be harmful to the eyes.
  • Health conditions such as diabetes manifest in the eyes.

Regardless of your age, a comprehensive eye exam can help catch eye conditions and diseases early. That is especially helpful if the disease can be cured if detected early enough.

For more on how often you need a comprehensive eye exam, visit Dr. Schultz at the Eye Center of Virginia. Call (757) 919-3500 to reach our office in Williamsburg, Virginia.

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