Routine eye exams should be a vital component of everyone’s health care routine. Such examinations can help people learn if they need prescription eyeglasses and if their existing prescriptions need to be updated, and they also can uncover other serious health issues.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, a comprehensive eye exam can uncover such problems as aneurysms, brain tumors, diabetes, high blood pressure and assorted cancers, including those of the blood, tissue or skin. That means routine eye exams can be as effective at safeguarding your overall health as they can at protecting your vision.
The recommended frequency with which people should receive eye exams is based largely on age, though no one should hesitate to schedule an exam if their eyes are bothering them or if they are experiencing any abnormalities with their eyes. In addition, some people may need more frequent eye exams depending on their medical histories, which should be discussed at length with a physician.
Children and adults without preexisting conditions and those not experiencing any abnormal vision problems can adhere to this eye examination schedule, courtesy of the American Optometric Association.
• Birth to two years: Children in this age group should receive eye exams between six to 12 months of age.
• Age three to five: Children in this age group should receive at least one eye exam between their third and fifth birthdays.
• Age six to 17 years: Children in this age group should receive one eye exam prior to beginning first grade and then an annual exam thereafter.
• Age 18 to 64: Adults between the ages of 18 and 64 should receive an eye exam at least once every two years.
• Age 65 and older: Annual eye exams are recommended for men and women age 65 and older.
Eye examinations help people preserve and improve their vision while also promoting long-term overall health. These vital components of healthy lifestyles should not be overlooked.