Regular eye health & vision exams serve to uncover previously undetected vision disorders that can potentially threaten one’s vision. Routine eye exams for children, adults and especially seniors are the best way to prevent eye health problems such as age related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, cataracts and diabetic eye problems from leading to vision loss. Regular eye exams for children, teens and young adults help to be sure that vision problems are not interfering with school, learning and even sports activities.
When Should I Have My Eyes Examined?
We recommend that all patients have regular eye examinations every 1-3 years depending on your age, your health, your family history of eye problems and whether you have been diagnosed or treated for any eye conditions or diseases in the past. Adults over age 65, those of any age with diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure or other systemic diseases, and children under age 20 should have routine eye health & vision examinations yearly. All other patients with normal vision and in good health may be examined every other year. In addition, any time that you experience a sudden change in your vision, pain, redness, discharge, flashes of light, floaters or spots you should call our office immediately and tell the receptionist what you are experiencing so they prioritize a time for your appointment.
Eye Exams for Adults & Seniors
If you are in overall good health, and to the best of your knowledge you have not been diagnosed with any eye health problems or eye diseases, scheduling an eye examination every two years is usually sufficient. It is important that, if you have any family member who has been told that they have glaucoma, macular degeneration (AMD) or you are diabetic you will need to be examined at least each year or as directed by your eye doctor or family doctor. A number of eye problems and eye conditions become more frequent with age. Anyone over 40 should have an eye exam and glaucoma testing each year and anyone over 50 with a family history of macular degeneration should also be examined annually. In particular, cataract formation and other age related macula problems increase in frequency for patients over 55-60 years of age and even healthy people should consider scheduling a routine eye exam each year if they fall into this age group.
Eye Exams for Children
At about 6 weeks of age, a baby should be able to fixate on an object, such as a face and maintain eye contact. Parents should be aware of signs of poor vision in children. If one eye “turns” or “crosses,” that eye may not see well and may be an indication of a vision or developmental problem. If a child does not show an interest in faces or age-appropriate toys you may suspect poor vision. Also, if a child’s eyes rove around or jiggle-called nystagmus-you should suspect poor vision. Other signs to watch for are tilting the head and squinting. Babies and toddlers compensate for poor vision rather than complain about it. Children should have a pediatric eye exam before they enter school in order to diagnose problems with eye health, muscle coordination, focusing and any other vision problems that might impact learning. Depending on your child’s individual history and your family history, an appropriate frequency for children’s eye exams can be determined. Please feel free to ask about how often we might recommend a children’s eye exam for your child.
What Happens During An Eye Exam?
A comprehensive eye exam is a through battery of tests performed in our office by our team of assistants, technicians and physician eye doctors to evaluate the external and internal eye health as well as the vision correction and refractive or optical focusing status of your eyes. The entire exam will typically take about an hour and involve computerized tests and for most patients eye drops to dilate the pupil to allow a thorough evaluation of the back of the eye including the health of the retina and optic nerve. For all patients we will perform a quick painless tonometry eye pressure test for glaucoma. For some patients we may need to order additional testing including visual field testing, optic nerve and retinal imaging, corneal pachymetry thickness measurements, retina, optic nerve or external photography and ophthalmic ultrasound-all of which are performed in the comfort and convenience of our office. The eye doctors and staff at Seidenberg Protzko Eye Associates will take the time necessary to answer questions and learn about your diagnosis and treatment plan options.