How Often do You Need to Check Your Eyes?
Screening for eye diseases involves going to your eye care professionals such as optician, optometrist and ophthalmologist (eye doctor) to have your vision measured and eye examined thoroughly for any eye diseases.
This is because certain eye diseases (such as glaucoma, diabetic eye disease or drug toxicity) may not give you any symptoms in the early stages of disease. However, when the vision is affected at the late stage, the condition may be so advance that the vision cannot be saved by either medication or surgery. The frequency for an eye check usually depends on the age of the person and any rich factors the person may have.
These risk factors depends on whether the person wears glasses or contact lenses, family has history of eye disease, type of medical disease or medication the person is on.
It is recommended that normal healthy adults should have a comprehensive eye examination every two years. After the age of 60 years, the risk of developing cataracts and age-related macular degeneration is higher and as such, should have a yearly eye check. Those who are at risk of eye diseases should have more frequent eye examination.
- Persons on treatment for diabetes.
- Persons on treatment for glaucoma (known as high eye pressure)
- A family history of eye disease (glaucoma and macular degeneration)
- Taking medication that may have eye-related side effects such as chemotheraphy (causes dry eyes)
- steroids (causes cataracts and glaucoma), hydroxychloroquine (causes maculpathy)
Routine eye exams are essential for children to learn in school as most of the information children receive in classrooms are presented visually. Inability to see what the teacher has written on the black or white board can lead to poor comprehension and ultimately poor school results! It is recommended that children should have their first eye examination at age three years and again at the start of school (around 6 years). Risk-free children should then continue to have their eyes examined every two years until age 18. Children who wear glasses or contact lenses should have their eyes examined yearly as the prescription may change within this period.
Children with risk factors for vision problems may need their first eye examination earlier and may need more frequent eye examinations throughout childhood.
Risk factors for children include:
- History of pre-maturity or low birth weight at birth
- Family history of eye diseases such as lazy eye or squints Developmental delay