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  • Writer's pictureMaria Cholakova

How Often Should You Visit Your Eye Doctor for an Eye Checkup?

Updated: Apr 27, 2023

Regular eye checkups are an essential part of maintaining optimal eye health. The frequency at which you should visit an eye doctor depends on several factors. Some people may need eye exams more frequently due to underlying medical conditions, while others may not need to go as often.

Keep on reading, as we discuss how often you should visit an eye doctor for an eye check-up and why it is crucial not to miss your ophthalmology appointments.

Table of Content:

2.2. Children

Why are regular eye check-ups important?

Eye examination

Going for regular eye check-ups keeps your eyes healthy and helps detect any potential issues early on.

For example, numerous eye conditions, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy, do not have noticeable symptoms in their early stages. By the time you notice symptoms by yourself, it may be too late to prevent permanent damage to your eyesight.

At the same time, an eye doctor can perform an eye exam. It includes checking for refractive errors, eye muscle function, eye pressure, and signs of eye diseases. By detecting these issues early, the eye specialist can administer relevant treatment and prevent potential and further damage to your eyes.

How often to visit an eye doctor for eye exams?

The frequency at which you should visit an eye doctor for an eye check-up depends on various factors such as your age, medical history, and vision problems. The AAPOS (American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus) recommends the following guidelines for how often you should visit an eye doctor:

How often should adults go for an eye checkup?

eye checkup for adults

Adults should have an eye exam at least once every couple of years if they have no underlying medical conditions. However, people with diabetes, high blood pressure, or a family history of eye diseases should have an eye exam once a year due to their predisposition to having eye problems. Furthermore, adults over the age of 60 should have an eye exam once a year.

How often should children visit an eye doctor?

eye checkup for children

Children should have their first eye exam sometime in the period from newborn to 12 months. Their second exam should be between 1 and 3 years of age, and then you should bring them for another exam before starting school (from 3 to 5 years of age). After age 5, children should have repeat screening every one or two years, or more frequently if recommended by an eye doctor.

How often should individuals with vision problems visit an eye doctor?

Woman visit eye doctor for eye checkup

Individuals who wear glasses or contact lenses, or who have other vision problems, should have an eye exam once a year or more frequently if recommended by an eye doctor. Eye checkups help medical professionals to determine the current state of the vision impairment and make adjustments to the prescription, if necessary.

Going to the eye doctor on a yearly basis also helps to keep in check any potential eye diseases you might be susceptible to.

It is important to note that these guidelines are just general recommendations. The frequency at which you should visit an eye doctor may vary depending on your individual needs. With that in mind, please make sure to discuss your individual medical attention needs with your eye doctor in advance.

What happens during an eye checkup exam?

Many people are terrified of going to the doctor, so they would avoid check-up exams for as long as possible. When it comes to the eyes, which are extremely delicate, this type of behavior poses great risks to eye health. So make sure to put yourself together and not miss your appointments. After all, a regular eye checkup is not that scary and does not involve any painful or unpleasant examinations.

eye checkup with an eye doctor

During an eye exam, an eye doctor will typically perform some or all of the following tests:

  • Visual acuity test that measures your ability to see clearly and identify letters or numbers on an eye chart.

  • Refraction test that measures your refractive error and determines your eyeglass or contact lens prescription.

  • Eye muscle test that evaluates the movement of your eyes and checks for any issues with eye alignment or muscle function.

  • Glaucoma test, which checks the pressure inside your eyes to determine if you have glaucoma.

  • Examination of the front part of the eye using a special microscope called a slit lamp.

  • Dilated fundus exam, when an eye doctor will put drops in your eyes to dilate your pupils, allowing them to examine the back of your eyes (retina, optic nerve, retinal vessels) and check for signs of eye disease.

  • Additional tests that your ophthalmologist or optometrist may perform to check for other vision problems (for example, a color vision test).

In conclusion, visiting an eye doctor regularly is an integral aspect of maintaining good eye health. By following your eye checkup schedule (set by an optometrist or ophthalmologist), you can ensure that you are receiving the appropriate level of care for your specific circumstances.

Regular eye check-ups detect potential issues early and prevent permanent damage to your ocular health. If you have any concerns about your eye health, we advise you to consult with an eye doctor and follow their recommendations.

Remember, taking care of your eyes starts with YOU.

If you want to learn more about your eye health, check out the latest articles at our Ophthalmology24 blog for patients.

All medical facts were checked by Atanas Bogoev M.D.

Ask us anything in the comments.

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