Many people don’t think twice about their vision until there’s a problem, but seeing an eye doctor should definitely be on your wellness radar at different stages of life.
Newborns should get a standard reflex test. If a baby is premature or at high risk for vision problems, schedule an exam with an eye specialist. Pediatricians should check eye health as part of wellness exams between 6 and 12 months, at age 3, and when a child is starting school.
Nearsightedness is the most common eye issue in school-aged kids and is corrected with glasses. Any problems should be properly diagnosed and treated by an eye doctor.
Younger adults with good vision and eye health should have one eye exam in their 20s, two in their 30s. A comprehensive exam includes eye drops to dilate the pupils so the doctor can see all parts of the eyes.
The 411 on adult vision visits:
- If you wear contact lenses, see your eye doctor every year.
- If you have diabetes or a family history of eye conditions, ask how often you need regular eye exams.
- See your eye doctor between scheduled visits for any infections, injuries, pain or unusual flashes or patterns of light.
Protect your vision with the right safety eyewear. Most eye injuries happen during everyday tasks like home repairs, yard work and cooking, and during recreational activities. Yet according to a survey from the American Academy of Ophthalmology, just 5 percent of people reporting eye injuries were wearing safety or sports glasses at the time.
Also practice two lifestyle habits for eye health. Exercise regularly for good circulation and get needed sleep nightly to refresh your eyes after everyday exposure to common irritants like dust.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology is a great source of eye health information, including how to prevent eye injuries and other safety topics.