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Preventative Eye Care at Ages 40-54 by Zakiya Nicks, O.D.

October 2, 2020

Dr. Zakiya Nicks is a primary care optometrist at the Marietta Eye Clinic who also provides ocular disease care and ocular surgery co-management.

Your vision is an essential part of your quality of life. Although most vision loss can be prevented if caught early, many people don’t get eye exams as often as recommended. Proper preventative care will give you the upper hand in the effort to keep your eyes healthy and your vision clear.

Baseline Exam

Around age 40, early signs of eye disease and changes in vision start to occur. It’s a good idea to get a baseline exam at this age. Even if you don’t notice any changes in vision, an optometrist or ophthalmologist can look at the back of your eye to check for signs of damage that could result in vision loss. Your optometrist or ophthalmologist can give you a recommended exam schedule based on the results of your exam and your overall health.

Routine Comprehensive Eye Exams

The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that people ages 40 to 54 who have no symptoms of eye disease and can see clearly have a comprehensive eye examination at least every 2 to 4 years. Comprehensive eye exams are more than updating your prescription for glasses and contacts. 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 or cataracts. Some eye disease symptoms may go unnoticed until the disease is advanced, which presents challenges in slowing progression or preventing permanent visual damage. 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.

Your eye health is affected by a combination of factors. Here are common reasons to increase the frequency of eye exams from the above guidelines:

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

Don’t Put Off Scheduling an Appointment

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 an optometrist or ophthalmologist if you are at a higher risk of developing eye disease or vision problems.

More About Primary Care Optometrist Zakiya Nicks, O.D.

Dr. Nicks is a primary care optometrist at the Marietta Eye Clinic. She also specializes in ocular diseases and ocular surgery co-management. Dr. Nicks received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Alcorn State University and her doctor of optometry from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry. She is a member of both the National Optometric Association and the American Optometric Association. Read more about Dr. Nicks in her full bio.

References and Additional Sources

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, 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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