Routine eye exams are important, regardless of your age or physical health. During a complete eye exam, your eye doctor will not only determine your prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses, but will also check your eyes for common eye diseases, assess how your eyes work together as a team and evaluate your eyes as an indicator of your overall health.
A comprehensive eye exam includes a number of tests and procedures to examine and evaluate the health of your eyes and the quality of your vision. These tests range from simple ones, like having you read an eye chart, to complex tests, such as using digital retinal imaging technology to evaluate retinal health.
The AOA recommends an annual eye exam for any patient who wears eyeglasses or contacts. If you don’t normally need vision correction, you still need an eye exam every year. Doctors often recommend more frequent eye examinations for people with diabetes, high blood pressure and other disorders, because many diseases can have an impact on vision and eye health.
According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), all children should have their eyes examined at 6 months of age, at age 3 and again at the start of school. Children without vision problems or risk factors for eye or vision problems should then continue to have their eyes examined at every year throughout school.
Children with existing vision problems or risk factors should have their eyes examined more frequently. Common risk factors for vision problems include:
turned or crossed eyes
family history of eye disease
history of eye injury
other physical illness or disease