Caring for Your Eyes at Ages 40-54 by Jordan Stanley, M.D.

July 30, 2019

Jordan Stanley, MD is an ophthalmologist, glaucoma specialist, and cataract surgeon at the Marietta Eye Clinic

Each stage of your life necessitates different types and frequency of ocular examinations and care. To ensure your eyes stay healthy and you retain the best vision possible, take a few minutes and review the information below. Your eyes will reward you with a lifetime of excellent sight if you provide them the care they need.

How Often You Need Eye Exams

The American Academy of Ophthalmology and the doctors at the Marietta Eye Clinic recommend, if you are age 40 to 54, to have a comprehensive eye examination at least every 2 to 4 years. This frequency guidance is for you if you do not have any symptoms of eye disease present and if you are seeing clearly. Comprehensive eye examinations are much more than checking your vision for a need to use glasses and contacts (refraction). Optometrists and ophthalmologists conduct comprehensive eye examinations to check for damage from health conditions such as diabetes and to check specifically for eye diseases which can lead to blindness such as glaucoma and cataracts.

When to Get Eye Exams More Often

Your health situation is unique to you and subsequently so is your eye health. Symptoms of certain eye diseases can change the needed frequency of eye examinations. The guidelines above apply to individuals 40-54 who present no symptoms or disease risk factors – especially with serious disease diagnosis such as diabetes and any family history of major disease or eye disease specifically.

Here are some common reasons to increase the frequency of eye exams:

  • Wear glasses or contact lenses.
  • Have a family history of eye disease such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, or cataracts.
  • Have a chronic disease that puts you at greater risk of eye disease, such as diabetes or hypertension.
  • Take medications that may have serious eye side effects such as prednisone or plaquenil.

Routine eye exams have been proven to help combat major eye health issues and prevent blindness. Keep in mind the guidance above and please reach out to your local optometrist or ophthalmologist if you are at a higher risk of developing eye disease or vision problems. There are times a disease may be progressing even if you don’t notice any particular symptoms.

References and Additional Resources

The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons. They describe themselves as a “global community of 32,000 medical doctors who protect sight and empower lives by setting the standards for ophthalmic education and advocating for our patients and the public.”  Their website is a great resource to learn more about how to care for your eyes.

The American Optometric Association (AOA) The AOA describes itself as the leading authority on quality care and an advocate for our nation’s health, representing more than 44,000 doctors of optometry (O.D.), optometric professionals, and optometry students.

Eye Exam

https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/eye-exam/about/pac-20384655

Eye Exam and Vision Testing Basics

https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/eye-exams-101

Frequency of Ocular Examinations – 2015

https://www.aao.org/clinical-statement/frequency-of-ocular-examinations

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