Who Should Not Wait to Turn 40 to Seek Routine Eye Examinations?

Amy Cherof, MD provides comprehensive ophthalmology and cataract surgery services at the Marietta Eye Clinic.

Amy Cherof, MD - Comprehensive Ophthalmolgy & Cataracts

While the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the doctors at the Marietta Eye Clinic recommend adults get a complete eye examination at age 40 to establish a baseline for key eye health measures, there are certain health groups who should not wait until they are age 40 to seek routine, preventative care.

Adults already diagnosed with any eye related disease and adults with diabetes, high blood pressure, and a family history of eye disease are highly encouraged to seek routine, comprehensive eye examinations as these conditions can have serious eye health and vision consequences at various stages of patient’s lives.

Key Information for Diabetes Patients

  • Individuals who develop diabetes mellitus type 1 should be examined by an ophthalmologist 5 years after disease onset and at least yearly thereafter.
  • Individuals who develop diabetes mellitus type 2 should be examined at the time of diagnosis and at least yearly thereafter.
  • Women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes should receive a comprehensive eye examination before conception and then early in the first trimester of pregnancy. Recommended intervals for subsequent examinations depend upon the level of retinopathy.

After a comprehensive eye examination, your ophthalmologist will help you know how often you should have your eyes examined in the future to stay abreast of eye health or vision changes related to any health conditions for which you are under treatment. Following these schedules is vital to maintaining visual health and a high quality of life. As you age, your risk of eye disease increases and permanent damage is best combated the earlier a condition is diagnosed and treatment begins.

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. To read more about the importance of eye exams prior to age 40, just follow this link:

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

The AAO also provides some great eye disease prevention tips here:

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

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