You should be aware that eye exams for children are extremely important. Early identification of a child’s vision problem can be crucial for development and academic achievement of all kids. Comprehensive eye exams for children entering school are critical for the early intervention needed to treat diseases and disorders such as amblyopic (“lazy eye”), strabismus, retinoblastoma and other serious and potentially blinding problems that can lead to poor school performance that can ultimately affect quality of life.
It’s the LAW – All children entering kindergarten or first grade in Missouri elementary schools in the fall are required to have a comprehensive eye examination from a licensed optometrist.
Even if you feel healthy and your vision seems fine, an annual eye examination is an important part of your health maintenance. Adults should have their eyes tested to keep their prescriptions current and to check for early signs of eye disease.
Adults are at higher risk for eye disease and vision problems, so you’ll want to take very seriously any unusual symptoms someone you’re concerned about may be having with his vision. That’s because early detection and treatment can greatly reduce the risk of partial or complete blindness. Routine eye exams are crucial, too, as some eye diseases arrive without any warning.
For 65 & Older
For those 65 and older, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends complete eye exams every year or two. If a person hasn’t seen an eye doctor recently, it’s important to schedule an appointment. Even if you aren’t having any symptoms or any trouble seeing, it’s possible to have an eye disease. There are often no obvious early symptoms of eye diseases; for example, Glaucoma is a disease that progresses slowly. In fact, experts estimate that almost half of those with glaucoma don’t know they have it. Some of the most common eye diseases in adults over 65 are:
- Retinal Disease
- Macular Degeneration
A person may need more frequent exams (perhaps even more often than once a year) if he has certain medical conditions, like diabetes or high blood pressure, which may put him at higher risk for some eye diseases. The eye doctor might want to see him more often, too, if he:
- Takes certain medications.
- Has had a serious eye injury in the past.
- Is African American (because of the increased risk of glaucoma).
- Has a personal or family history of eye disease.