Why it's done

An eye exam helps detect eye problems at their earliest stage — when they're most treatable. Regular eye exams give your eye care professional a chance to help you correct or adapt to vision changes and provide you with tips on caring for your eyes.

When to have an eye exam

Several factors may determine how frequently you need an eye exam, including your age, health and risk of developing eye problems. General guidelines are as follows:

Children 5 years and younger. For children under 3, your pediatrician will likely look for the most common eye problems — lazy eye, crossed eyes or turned-out eyes. Depending on your child's willingness to cooperate, he or she could undergo a more-comprehensive eye exam between the ages of 3 and 5.

School-age children and adolescents. Have your child's vision checked before he or she enters first grade. If your child has no symptoms of vision problems and no family history of vision problems, have his or her vision rechecked every one to two years. Otherwise, schedule eye exams based on the advice of your eye doctor.

Adults. In general, if you're healthy and have no symptoms of vision problems, have your eyes checked on this schedule:

  • Every five to 10 years in your 20s and 30s
  • Every two to four years from 40 to 54
  • Every one to three years from 55 to 64
  • Every one to two years after age 65

Have your eyes checked more often if you:

  • Wear glasses or contact lenses
  • Have a family history of eye disease
  • Have a chronic disease that puts you at greater risk of eye disease, such as diabetes
Feb. 26, 2016
References
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