Getting an eye exam is an important part of your overall health.
For adults with no vision issues, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends a baseline eye examination at age 40, the time when early signs of disease or changes in vision may occur. Much like a screening for diabetes or certain cancers, a baseline eye exam at 40 is a reminder to adults as they age to be aware of their eye health. A baseline screening can help identify signs of eye disease at an early stage when many treatments can have the greatest impact on preserving vision.
If you have an eye disease or if you have a risk factor for developing one, such as diabetes, high blood pressure or a family history of eye disease, you should see an ophthalmologist even if you are younger than 40.
Upon examining your eyes, your ophthalmologist can tell you how often you should undergo an eye exam. As you age, it's especially important that you have your eyes checked regularly because your risk for eye disease increases. If you are 65 or older, make sure you have your eyes checked every year or two for signs of age-related eye diseases such as cataracts, age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma.
What Does an Eye Exam Consist Of?
A comprehensive eye exam is relatively simple and comfortable and shouldn't take more than 45 to 90 minutes. The exam will include checks on the following:
- Your medical history
- Your visual acuity
- Your pupils
- Your side vision
- Your eye movement
- Your prescription for corrective lenses
- Your eye pressure
- The front part of your eye
- Your retina and optic nerve
Your ophthalmologist may suggest additional testing to further examine your eye using specialized imaging techniques. These tests can be crucial in diagnosing a disease in its early stages.
Each part of the comprehensive eye exam provides important information about the health of your eyes. Make sure that you are getting a complete examination as part of your commitment to your overall health.
If you are a new patient, print out a new patient packet form ahead of time.
The information contained here was adapted from EyeSmart – The American Academy of Ophthalmology