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When Should You Have an Eye Exam?
Childhood vision screening
From birth through the teenage years, children’s eyes are growing and change quickly. The American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus have developed specific childhood eye screening guidelines. Follow these guidelines to get your child screened at the right times. These screenings help identify when your child might need a complete eye exam.
Baseline eye exams for adults
If your eyes are healthy and your vision is good, you should have a complete exam by your ophthalmologist once in your 20s and twice in your 30s.
There are some exceptions:
If you have an infection, injury, or eye pain, or you notice sudden floaters and flashes or patterns of light, call your ophthalmologist.
If you wear contact lenses, see your eye specialist every year.
If you have diabetes or have a family history of eye disease, talk with your ophthalmologist about how often your eyes should be examined.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that adults get a complete eye examination at age 40. This is when early signs of disease or changes in vision may appear. It is important to find eye diseases early. Early treatment can help preserve your vision.
Not everyone should wait until age 40 for an eye exam
Some adults shouldn’t wait until they are 40 to have a complete eye exam. See an ophthalmologist now if you have an eye disease or risk factors such as:
high blood pressure
family history of eye disease.
After an exam, your ophthalmologist can tell you how often you should have your eyes checked in the future. It’s important to follow the schedule your ophthalmologist gives you, especially as you age. Your risk for eye disease increases as you get older.