Monday, February 13, 2012

How Often For Eye Exams?

Dr. White came back to the office the other day after a dentist appointment. Apparently the dentist was unhappy with our good Doctor. It seems that it had been a little more than a year since Dr. White had been in to have his teeth checked, and the dentist said it should be every 6 months. That got us to thinking: how often should you have your eyes checked?

Every infant has an eye exam performed by a pediatrician before leaving the hospital. This exam rules out any major, obvious problems that can be visible at birth. From that time on a child is examined during well-baby and well-child checks by the pediatrician. In the United States almost all schools test vision at some time around the beginning of first grade and then every few years after that.

While this is wonderful for screening purposes, the doctors at Skyvision Centers feel very strongly that EVERY child should have a complete eye exam performed by an eye doctor, either an ophthalmologist or an optometrist, before starting kindergarten or first grade. If there is a history of eye problems like amblyopia (lazy eye) in the family, an exam at age three should be performed. Children without any eye problems who do not need to wear glasses should then be examined at school junctures: grade school to middle school, middle school to high school, high school to college.

Every day we see an adult who hasn't had an eye exam since leaving high school! Adults under the age of 40 should have a complete exam at least every 4 or 5 years. At the age of 40 there are some eye diseases and problems that start to develop that don't have any symptoms. We suggest that adults between 40 and 60 get an exam every 2 years. After age 60 EVERYONE should have a complete exam every year!

So there you have it, a roadmap to healthy eyes over your lifetime, courtesy of Skyvision Centers and Dr. White's dentist!

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