Eye Examinations

When are eye examinations necessary?

During an eye exam, an eye doctor reviews your medical history and completes a series of tests to determine the health of your eyes. The information from an eye exam may lead to medical procedures or prescriptions. Eye examinations should take place periodically as follows:

before age 3

All children should have their eyes checked before age three. If there is family history of childhood vision problems, or if the child has a wandering, crossed, or other eye problem, his/her eyes should be checked earlier.

before the age of 20

as recommended by a pediatrician or other physician

between 20 to 40 years old

every 3 to 5 years, unless you experience any problems such as visual changes, pain, flashes of light, new floaters, or tearing, or if you sustain an injury to the eye.

between 40 to 64 years old

Have a baseline eye exam at age 40, unless you having symptoms or have a risk factor for eye disease. If you have symptoms or a risk factor, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or a family history of eye disease, consult your ophthalmologist for how often you should be screened.

over 65 years old

every 1 to 2 years

  • African Americans are at 8 to 9 times greater risk for glaucoma than Caucasians.

  • Persons with diabetes are at risk for several eye disorders, including diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and cataracts, and should have eye examinations every year.

Medical Reviewer: [Andrew Bailey, RN, BSN, M.Ed., Lee Jenkins] Last Annual Review Date: 2011-04-14T00:00:00-06:00 Copyright: Copyright © 2007 Staywell Content Services, Inc. except where otherwise noted.

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