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Learn About Eye Exams: Critical Times to Get Eye Exams

Child getting an eye exam

Critical Times to Get an Eye Exam

Getting regular eye examinations is vital to keeping your eyes healthy. Did you know that there are critical times in every individual's life when getting an eye examination is of the utmost importance? Here is a list of the critical times in everyone's life when they should get their eyes examined:

Infant (6-12 months)

Parents take heed. You should have your baby's eyes looked at after six months and before one year. Why? By this time, certain eye conditions that could lead to significant visual impairment later in life will present themselves.

Your optometrist can check eye coordination and take a look in your baby's eyes for indications of other health risks. For example, amblyopia (known commonly as "lazy eye"") will present itself around this time and can be more easily corrected if diagnosed early. Some studies show that other eye conditions like strabismus (also known as being "cross-eyed") have a dramatically better response to treatment if recognized before age two.

Before starting school (ages 3-4)

If your child is getting ready to start school, getting a comprehensive eye examination before they start may be the most important thing you do to prepare for the school year.

Although your child may have a vision screening by a school nurse, this screening may only detect if your child has issues with their distance vision and cannot detect issues with up-close vision or astigmatism. Some studies show more than 80% of your child's learning happens through their eyes, so making sure eyes are healthy before their education begins is essential.

Childhood (ages 5-17)

Your child's eyes will continue to change and grow during childhood, especially during growth spurts. This means that your child's vision may be fine one day, and struggling a week later. Take your child for annual exams during this time period to ensure they have the best chance at success in school.

Post-graduation/Into adulthood (ages 18-22)

Once your education is finished, be it high school or college, it's important to have your eyes examined to make sure your eyes are still healthy and ready for the career you plan to pursue.

In some cases, the demands of reading in college may have impacted your vision. You could also experience vision changes because of increased screen time and late nights.

Either way, the start of adulthood is a good time to stop and make sure your eyes are still functioning as they should be and to get the prescription lenses you need before you tackle a career.

Age 40

Getting a baseline eye examination at age forty is recommended as a way to pre-screen for many eye diseases. Many eye health issues that adults face start to surface around this time and have the best chance of treatment if discovered early.

This is also a time when eyes start to change and vision that used to be 20/20 starts to slip as the eyes age. Reading glasses or other vision correction may be recommended for the first time around this age.

When other health issues arise (any age)

If you've been diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure, or you've had a stroke, there is a good chance that your eye health will be affected by these diseases. You should always include your optometrist on your list of people to see when other health issues arise because of this link.

Regular eye examinations can also serve as a monitor for your health issues. Changes in visual health sometimes indicate that your overall health is deteriorating and additional treatment is needed.

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