HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU SEE YOUR EYE DOCTOR?
I’m often asked how often a person should have their eyes examined. The answer depends on several factors including age, general health, current prescription, contact lens wear, visual demand, eye diseases and systemic medications.
- Infants should have their eyes checked before they are one year old. Dr. Andreason participates in the InfantSEE program which provides a free exam to infants less than a year old.
- Children should be checked at three years and then before entering kindergarten. If children at these young ages have a need for correction they should be seen at a minimum on a yearly basis and possibly more frequently if necessary.
- Adolescent and teenagers’ bodies are growing rapidly and there is a tendency for the eyes to change quickly as well. Yearly exams are advised at these ages. If the doctor feels things are very stable they may recommend an exam every two years.
- Contact lens wearers should have yearly examinations to make sure the cornea is healthy and tolerating the contact lenses. Contact lens prescriptions are only good for one year and a contact lens refit is needed to renew the prescription much like certain medication prescriptions.
- Highly myopic (nearsighted) should be seen yearly for two reasons. First, their prescriptions tend to change more often and need to be updated and secondly, they need a retinal evaluation due to an increased risk of retinal problems.
- Diabetic patients need to be seen yearly to monitor their prescription and to check the eyes for diabetic vascular changes.
- Computer users put tremendous strain on their visual system which can lead to fatigue, discomfort and blurred vision. Yearly examinations and perhaps special computer glasses can help these patients cope with the demand computer use creates.
- Glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataract patients will be seen from every three months to yearly depending on the needs of the individual patient.
- Healthy young adults between the early 20’s and late 30’s can usually go two years between exams if they do not wear glasses or contact lenses.
- High risk medication patients taking drugs such as Plaquenil or Temoxifen should be seen every 6 months for a retinal evaluation.
As a general rule yearly exams are advised taking into account the special cases above. If eye health is stable and the prescription is not changing an exam every two years is a reasonable option.
If you have any questions about your personal situation, feel free to call the office and talk to one of the doctors or please visit our website at www.hillsborovisionclinic.com.