How Often Should You Get an Eye Exam?

Eye exams reveal a lot about an individual's eye and general health. You need to get regular eye exams even if you do not wear eyeglasses or contacts. Many people realize they have a health problem, such as high blood pressure, after a comprehensive eye exam. 


Regular exams can detect eye conditions or diseases at an early stage. Early treatment can protect your vision. 



Why Comprehensive Eye Exams Are Essential 


Vision conditions and eye diseases can impact an individual's quality of life. Many eye diseases do not have symptoms in the early stages. Many patients realize they have an eye problem during the eyesight-threatening stage. 


Early detection is essential for effective treatment and to avoid complications. The eyes provide a clear view of the blood vessels and can tell a lot about overall health. Eye exams can offer a unique look into the human body. They can detect issues such as diabetes and high blood pressure. 



How Often Should Children Get Eye Exams?


The frequency of eye exams depends on age and other factors, such as existing vision and eye health conditions. The first comprehensive eye exam should be when a child is between six to 12 months old. The second is when the child is between three to five years. 


During the school-going ages of six to 17 years, children should get annual eye exams. Children at high risk of developing vision or eye conditions can get more frequent eye exams as advised. During eye exams, doctors look for common problems such as amblyopia or strabismus.



How Often Should Adults Get Eye Exams?


If you do not have vision conditions or symptoms of eye diseases, the eye doctor will recommend eye exams based on age, eye condition, and overall health. A good rule of thumb is to get a comprehensive eye exam once a year. If you have a family history of eye diseases or wear glasses or contact lenses, you may need more frequent exams. The same is true if you have a health condition such as diabetes.



Vision Screening vs. Eye Exams


Vision screenings are tests conducted to determine whether the eyesight is working well. They can detect eyesight issues but are not a substitute for comprehensive eye exams. Exams are more in-depth and can find problems not detected during screening. Exams also find the underlying cause of the eye issue. Children need frequent eye exams to detect vision issues that interfere with learning.



What to Expect During Eye Exams


During eye exams, doctors check for vision issues and eye diseases such as cataracts and glaucoma. The doctor will ask about your overall health, family health history, and any medications you are taking. An eye chart can check vision sharpness. 


Other tests check peripheral vision, 3D vision, and color perception. The doctor will also check the pupils and eye muscles. Medicated eye drops dilate the pupils to provide clear viewing. The doctor will check for signs of glaucoma. Failing to diagnose or treat eye issues early can cause long-lasting vision issues. 


For more on how often you should get an eye exam, visit Indigo Vision Center at our Georgetown, South Carolina office. Call (843) 546-2244 to schedule an appointment today.