At each stage of your life, you need different types and frequency of eye examinations and care. In some cases, vision that is lost cannot be recovered, so your best option is to catch and treat eye disease before it affects your vision. The goal is to enjoy a lifetime of excellent sight by providing your eyes the care they need.
If you are between the ages of 55 and 64, you do not have any symptoms of eye disease, and you are seeing clearly, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that you have a comprehensive eye examination at least every 1 to 3 years. Comprehensive eye exams involve more than correcting your vision with glasses and contacts. Ophthalmologists and optometrists conduct comprehensive eye examinations to check for ocular disease induced by health conditions such as diabetes as well as to look for other eye diseases that could lead to blindness, such as glaucoma and cataracts. If you have symptoms of eye disease or cannot see clearly, your ophthalmologist may recommend that you have more frequent exams.
Comprehensive eye exams allow your ophthalmologist to detect diseases at their earliest stage possible, when they are most treatable. Just as your systemic health is unique to you, the same goes for your ocular health. A variety of factors may affect the health of your eyes. Unfortunately, you may not notice symptoms of certain eye diseases until they are in an advanced stage. The more advanced stage an ocular disease is in, the more challenging it can be to slow progression or prevent permanent visual damage.
The 1- to 3-year recommendation applies to individuals ages 55 to 64 who present no symptoms or disease risk factors. Here are a few of the risk factors that may lead your ophthalmologist to recommend that you increase the frequency of eye exams:
Routine eye exams have been proven to help combat eye disease, visual impairment, and blindness. Keep in mind the guidance above, and visit your local ophthalmologist more frequently if you are at a higher risk of developing disease, if you have personal history of visual problems or disease, or if you have a family history of eye disease.
Dr. Cherof is an ophthalmologist with the Marietta Eye Clinic who specializes in cataracts in addition to offering comprehensive care. Dr. Cherof graduated summa cum laude with highest honors with her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia. She received her medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. She is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, and the Georgia Society of Ophthalmology. Read her full bio here.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons. It describes itself 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.” Its website is a great resource to learn more about how to care for your eyes.
The American Optometric Association (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.
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