We strongly encourage everyone to get a comprehensive eye exam once a year. Even if you do not have vision problems, a vision “check-up” can be critical in spotting and treating issues before they affect your vision. This is especially important for children who may not even realize that the problems they may be having in school are actually vision related. Our comprehensive eye exam is designed to provide a complete evaluation of your vision health.
Why are Eye Exams Important?
During an eye exam, our optometrist is not only determining the proper prescription for your eyeglasses, but also checking your eyes for common eye diseases. With some simple tests we can detect the early onset of a serious eye illness such as glaucoma. With early detection, your chances of successful treatment are much higher. Our eye doctor will also assess how your eyes work together. Your eyes can be an indicator of your overall health, and our eye doctor will evaluate if there are any non-vision health issues that you should be aware of.
What’s the Difference Between a Vision Screening and a Complete Eye Exam?
A vision screening can be helpful but it is by no means a substitute for a comprehensive eye exam. Vision screenings are used to help identify those at risk for vision problems and are often performed by a school nurse or volunteer. Even the test conducted by the clerk at the Driver’s License Bureau is a form of vision screening. While these efforts can be helpful, they are not conducted by experienced professionals who have the training to detect eye disease.
A comprehensive eye examination performed by our optometrist involves careful testing of every aspect of your vision. The exam will give the eye doctor enough information to recommend a personal treatment plan. These exams are much more thorough than the simple vision check conducted by family physicians and pediatricians as part of a medical check-up.
Treatment plans can be as simple as recommending eyeglasses or as serious as spotting a need for eye surgery. The point is that only with a comprehensive eye exam can you be sure that your eyes are getting the best treatment available. That is why no matter who you are, annual eye exams are essential to ensure you are seeing clearly and preserving your vision for life
Eye care experts recommend you have a complete eye exam every year to assess your child’s risk for potentially damaging eye conditions, as well as to keep on top of any changes in vision you may be experiencing.
Children. Some experts estimate that approximately 5% to 10% of pre-schoolers and 25% of school-aged children have vision problems. According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), all children should have their eyes examined at 6 months of age, at age 3 and again at the start of school. Children without vision problems or risk factors for eye or vision problems should then continue to have their eyes examined at every year throughout school.
Children with existing vision problems or risk factors should have their eyes examined more frequently. Common risk factors for vision problems include:
- premature birth
- developmental delays
- turned or crossed eyes
- family history of eye disease
- history of eye injury
- other physical illness or disease
The AOA recommends that children who wear eyeglasses or contact lenses should have their eyes examined at least every 12 months or according to their eye doctor’s instructions. Read more about Pediatric Eye Exams.
Adults. The AOA also recommends an annual eye exam for any adult who wears eyeglasses or contacts. If you don’t normally need vision correction, you still need an eye exam every year. Doctors often recommend more frequent examinations for adults with diabetes, high blood pressure and other disorders, because many diseases can have an impact on vision and eye health.
If you are over 40, it’s a good idea to have your eyes examined every one to two years to check for common age-related eye problems such as presbyopia, cataracts and macular degeneration. Because the risk of eye disease continues to increase with advancing age, everyone over the age of 60 should be examined annually.