eye exam page 1 Periodic eye and vision examinations are an important part of preventive health care! Many eye and vision problems have no obvious signs or symptoms. As a result, individuals are often unaware that problems exist. Early diagnosis and treatment of eye and vision problems are important for maintaining good vision and eye health, and even preventing vision loss. Individual patient signs and symptoms, along with the professional judgment of the doctor, may significantly influence the testing done.

The American Optometric Association recommends adult patients receive an examination every two years between the ages of 18 and annually after the age of 61. Those at risk of eye problems should visit more frequently. Patients at risk include those who:
eye exam page 2

  • Have diabetes, hypertension, or a family history of ocular disease (glaucoma, macular degeneration)
  • Work in occupations that are highly demanding visually or hazardous to the eyes
  • Take prescription or nonprescription drugs with ocular side effects
  • Wear contact lenses
  • Have had eye surgery for other health concerns or conditions

eye exam page 3 It is recommended that children have eye exams at 6 months and at 3 years of age, before first grade and every two years thereafter. It is recommended that children at risk of eye problems have an exam annually. Factors that could place a child at risk of visual impairment include:

  • Prematurity, low birth weight, grade III or IV intraventricular hemorrhage
  • Family history of retinoblastoma, congenital cataracts, or metabolic or genetic disease
  • Infection of mother during pregnancy (rubella, toxoplasmosis, venereal disease, herpes, cytomegalovirus, or AIDS)
  • Difficult or assisted labor, which may be associated with fetal distress or low Apgar scores
  • High refractive error
  • Strabismus
  • Anisometropia
  • Known or suspected central nervous system dysfunction evidenced by developmental delay, cerebral palsy, dysmorphic features, seizures, or hydrocephalus

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