How often should you get an eye exam? Do you know why going for eye exams frequently is essential? To preserve your eyesight and prevent ocular health problems, you should go for regular eye check-ups. Lack of access to readily available eye care is the reason for most blindness that was preventable.
Importance of eye exams
During an eye exam, the doctor will check the general ocular health and a person’s vision.
- Protect ocular health.
The eye doctor will diagnose any eye disease that can lead to vision impairment or blindness. Some of these illnesses include:
A patient with this condition will experience eyelid inflammation. It causes irritation, redness, and itchiness that results in dandruff-like scales on the patient’s eyelashes.
The eye lens is cloudy. If discovered early, it is treatable.
It occurs when the pressure in the eye builds up due to the accretion of fluids. It damages the optic nerve.
Types of glaucoma.
- Open-angle. It progresses slowly and is chronic.
- Closed-angle. It progresses quickly. Most patients seek medical attention when the damage is permanent.
This condition is usually known as pink eye. The tissue covering the inner eyelid swells. It is highly infectious via contact. You should see the doctor immediately.
- Age-related macular degeneration.
It affects the macula. It may lead to permanent impairment affecting your ability to do tasks like reading and driving.
- Diabetic retinopathy.
It is a diabetes complication. It injures the blood vessels in the retina. It causes blindness in adults. If diagnosed early and properly managed, it reduces the likelihood of vision loss.
- Safeguard vision.
The lens and cornea refract light rays as they enter the eye. This light is focused on the retina. It allows a clear vision. Impaired vision occurs due to refractive errors. It occurs if the eye’s shape prevents incoming light from focusing on the retina properly. It happens if:
- The cornea is malformed.
- Too long or short eyeballs.
- The eye lens is brittle due to old age.
If the refractive error is left untreated, it leads to discomfort and tension headaches. This problem can be solved using contact lenses, prescribed glasses, and surgical procedures. To solve vision problems, the eye should be examined before making a diagnosis. Common refractive errors include:
- It is commonly known as farsightedness. It is hard to see objects that are nearby.
- Also called nearsightedness. It is hard to see objects that are far away.
- It is common in older and middle-aged adults. Seeing close-up objects is difficult.
- Far-off or close-up objects look blurry or distorted.
How often should you get an eye exam?
Race, age, and existing health conditions determine how often you should get your eyes checked. According to the patient’s profile, the eye doctor should advise you on the frequency of going for an eye exam.
During childhood, most types of refractive errors occur. The kid’s vision should be checked periodically.
- Once between 6 to 12 months.
- Once between 12 to 36 months.
- At 5 years.
Pupil response and blinking are checked in newborns as their first eye examination. Ensure your kids go for an eye examination every year since they are quickly growing. You do not want your kid to be affected in school because of blurry vision.
- 40 years.
An adult should complete an ophthalmologist examination at least once in their 20s and twice in their 30s.
- After 50 years.
When an adult is 40 years, they may experience their first sign of age-related illnesses. Eye doctors recommend a complete ocular examination at this age. If there is any progressive eye problem, an adult aged 50 years should go for regular eye examinations.
- After 60 years.
When an adult is 65 years and above, they should get an eye examination after 1 or 2 years. These seniors are prone to illnesses like cataracts, AMD, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma.
If you wear contact lenses or glasses, you should go for a vision test annually. After undergoing a LASIK surgery procedure, the person should go for vision tests after every two years.
Eye test procedure
This process is simple and painless, so don’t worry. Some of the procedures involved include:
- Pupil response test.
A small handheld device shines light into the patient’s eyes. The pupil is supposed to be responsive to light. When exposed to light, the pupil should contract and widen as it adapts to light. If the pupil is non-responsive, there is an underlying eye condition.
- Ocular motility assessment.
The movement of the patient’s eye is tested. The patient is asked to follow an object moved across their field of vision, to check if the eye muscles are working correctly.
- Visual acuity exam.
An eye chart helps to check the patient’s vision. It shows how your eye functions depending on the distance. One eye of the patient is covered then they are asked to read from a chart. It will show if the patient’s vision is 20/20 or if they need corrective measures.
- Front eye structural exams.
A slit-lamp microscope helps to look at the front of the eye. The eyelids, cornea, lens, and iris are examined. The doctor checks for early signs of cataracts and if the cornea is scratched.
A regular eye examination is a requirement to maintain good ocular health and preserve your eyesight. Early diagnosis of eye problems can save you the trouble of permanently losing your sight. The most commonly diagnosed eye diseases are blepharitis, cataracts, glaucoma, conjunctivitis, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration. Refractive errors lead to impaired vision. The common refractive errors are myopia, presbyopia, astigmatism, and hyperopia. To correct this problem, you will need surgical procedures, prescribed glasses, and contact lenses. Pupil response test, visual acuity exam, front eye structural exam, and ocular motility assessment are the eye test procedures conducted during an eye examination.