How Often People Ages 40-54 Need Eye Exams by Justin Wilkin, M.D.

June 6, 2019

Dr. Wilkin is an ophthalmologist at the Marietta Eye Clinic who specializes in cataracts and dry eye.

Your vision is fundamental to your quality of life, and with proper preventative care, you can give yourself every advantage possible to keep your eyes healthy and your vision clear. At various stages of your life, you need to take proactive measures to ensure your vision remains at optimal levels. Additionally, your general health status may affect the normal measures you should take to maintain great visual health.

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 that can lead to blindness, such as glaucoma and cataracts.

Change in Frequency with Disease Symptoms

Eye exams help you and your doctor detect eye problems and diseases at their earliest stage, when they are at their most treatable state or level. Your health situation is unique to you, and the same goes for your eye health. Your vision and ocular health at any given time are a unique combination of factors. Regular comprehensive exams help you work with your eye doctor to meet your individual ocular health needs and help your doctor know how to guide you in maintaining great eye health and clear, sharp vision.

Some eye disease symptoms may not present until the disease is advanced, which presents challenges in slowing progression or facing permanent visual damage. The guidelines above apply to individuals 40-54 who present no symptoms or disease risk factors – especially major 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:

  • If you wear glasses or contact lenses
  • If you have a family history of eye disease, such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, or cataracts
  • If you have a chronic disease that puts you at greater risk of eye disease, such as diabetes or hypertension
  • If you take medications that may have serious eye-related 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.

More About Justin Wilkin, M.D.

Dr. Wilkin is an ophthalmologist with the Marietta Eye Clinic. He specializes in cataracts and dry eye, in addition to offering comprehensive care. He serves the Kennestone, Canton, and Towne Lake offices. Dr. Wilkin graduated magna cum laude from the Georgia Institute of Technology with his undergraduate degree in applied biology and microbiology. He received his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia. He is a member of both the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons. He is board-certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. Read his full bio here.

References and Additional Resources

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. 

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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