A common question that arises in our office consists of, “How often should I get my eyes checked?” While the answer can vary from person to person, there are some general guidelines that should be followed.  

Let’s start with young kids. The AOA (American Optometric Association) recommends that children be screened as early as 6 months of age, again at 3 years old and before the start of kindergarten or first grade. Undetected vision problems can interfere with your child’s ability to learn. Most of a child’s learning is visually mediated, therefore it is important to ensure that their visual system is intact to allow for proper academic and social development. 

For those that have no eye conditions and/or no history of ocular disease, a complete exam should be performed every 2 years. The AOA recommends that those who wear glasses or contacts should be seen yearly.  

If you are over the age of 61, yearly eye exams are recommended due to the development of ocular changes including cataracts. Some patients may be considered “higher risk” and should get eye exams more frequently. The higher risk category includes diabetes, hypertension, the use of high-risk medications, previous ocular surgery as well as family history of eye diseases.  

So, what is performed at a complete eye exam? A complete eye exam consists of a thorough medical and family history, measuring vision, checking the refractive error (prescription) of your eyes, measuring your eye pressure and a thorough evaluation of your ocular health including dilating your eyes. 

It is important to note that not everyone fits into the general guidelines. It is important to speak with your doctor about how frequent you should get your eyes checked as well as the timing of follow up care. If you are experiencing any rapid changes in vision you should be seen sooner. Please call 860-233-2020 to schedule a baseline eye exam with one of our eye care specialists today. 

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