Am I Due for an Eye Exam? Common Signs You Need a Vision Check-Up
Many people schedule routine physical exams with a physician to monitor their general health. However, people frequently neglect to schedule regular check-ups for eye exams. There is a common misconception that eye exams are only necessary for those with vision impairment or those experiencing complications. And even those who rely on prescription eyewear aren’t always sure how regularly to see an eye doctor.
Here, Dr. Walter Choate of Choate Eye Associates, which serves patients from Nashville, TN, Goodlettsville, TN, and Hendersonville, TN, discusses the general purpose of comprehensive eye examinations, how often patients should schedule eye exams, and common signs it’s time to schedule an appointment for a vision check-up.
What Is The Purpose of a Comprehensive Eye Exam?
Regular eye exams are essential throughout every stage of a person’s life, whether or not they suffer from vision impairment. Comprehensive eye exams serve several vital purposes. Most notably, routine eye exams allow for:
- Diagnosis of refractive errors that cause nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism
- Treatment or correction of vision problems
- Monitoring of vision prescription to determine when new prescription lenses are necessary
- Early detection of eye diseases
- Treatment or management of diagnosed eye diseases
- Diagnosis of other health conditions
How Often Do I Need An Eye Exam?
The recommended frequency of eye exams depends on factors such as the patient’s age, eye health, and the risk of developing eye diseases.
Generally, children should receive their first routine eye exams between the ages of six and 12 months. After that, children should schedule an eye exam once between the ages of three and five, once before first grade, and then annually (or as recommended) up to the age of 17.
Asymptomatic adult patients with no vision prescription and a low risk of eye diseases should schedule an eye examination once every two years up until age 64. Adults ages 65 and older should schedule yearly eye exams. Adults with a vision prescription or an increased risk of developing eye diseases or other conditions should schedule eye exams annually or as recommended.
Conditions and factors that increase the risk of eye diseases include:
- A family history of eye diseases or other ocular conditions
- Certain systemic health conditions
- The use of certain prescription medications
- The use of contact lenses
- Previous eye surgery or injury
Signs You Need To Schedule an Eye Exam
When no symptoms are present, patients can safely follow the recommended guidelines regarding the frequency of eye exams. However, if issues develop, people may need to schedule an eye examination between regular checkups. The following symptoms are signs it’s time to contact an eye doctor to request a vision test or comprehensive eye exam:
- Persistent eye redness, itchiness, or irritation
- Eye pain
- Double vision
- Blurry vision
- Flashes or floaters in the field of vision
- Halos around light sources
- Draining from the eyes
- Any sudden changes in vision
If you cannot remember the last time you saw an eye doctor, it is probably time for a comprehensive eye exam. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Walter Choate, send us a message at your earliest convenience.