How often you should get your eyes checked depends on many factors including age, eye health, physical health, symptoms & more. Dr. Kim shares his insights.
Your eyesight is an integral part of day-to-day life. Maintaining proper eye health starts with proper eye care—including regular eye exams. But, how often should adults be getting an eye exam? I’ll answer that question and everything else you need to know about eye exams in the article below.
- Benefits of Getting Your Eyes Checked Regularly
- How Often You Should Get Your Eyes Checked
- Should I Get an Eye Exam More Than Once a Year?
What are the Benefits of Getting Your Eyes Checked Regularly?
The many benefits of getting your eyes checked regularly, include:
- Updates to your prescription
- Catch and correct minor vision problems
- Detect early warning signs of eye diseases
- Detect other health issues
- Monitor changes
1. Updates to your prescription
One of the more obvious benefits of an eye exam includes the ability to update your prescription. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, getting regular eye exams can help ensure you have the best prescription for your vision.
2. Catch and correct minor vision problems
Regular eye exams can detect vision problems early on and allow for the proper treatment or correction of these issues. For example, many middle-aged adults start to experience difficulty seeing objects close up (especially while reading or working on a computer). This vision problem is known as presbyopia and progresses gradually over time. This can impact their ability to focus at work or perform day-to-day tasks such as reading the instructions of a recipe. When this occurs and proper vision-correcting eyewear is not utilized, a lot of stress can be put on the eyes that can ultimately be the cause of eye strain, headaches, and fatigue. A simple pair of reading glasses or a pair of well-fitted progressive glasses may be able to relieve these issues.
3. Detect early warning signs of eye diseases
Did you know that 75% of all vision loss and blindness are preventable or treatable with early intervention? Early signs of eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy can all be detected during regular eye exams. Many of these eye diseases manifest gradually and without notice. Without early detection, irreversible damage can be done, but with early detection, vision loss can be prevented.
4. Detect other health issues
Getting your eyes examined regularly can help detect health issues beyond those of the eye. Warning signs of health issues such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, cancer, and more can all be detected during an eye exam. This is because, during eye exams, optometrists routinely evaluate the retina and the blood vessels within the eye. Since the body is connected by a network of blood vessels, viewing the retina’s blood vessels is a good indicator of the rest of the body’s blood vessel health. This is why it is very important for diabetics to routinely see their optometrist for dilated eye examinations.
5. Monitor changes
Going for regular and routine eye exams allows your optometrist to collect a detailed history of your eyes over time. Having this documented information can benefit your long-term eye health over the course of your adult life.
How Often Should Adults Get Their Eyes Checked?
As an adult, the frequency of how often you should get your eyes checked depends on your age, existing eye health, and current physical health. According to The Canadian Association of Optometrists, the following is how often adults should get their eyes checked:
- Age 18 to 19: Once a year
- Age 20 to 39: Every 2 to 3 years
- Age 40 to 64: Every 1 to 2 years
- Age 65+: Once a year
Should I Get an Eye Exam More Than Once a Year?
Getting an eye exam more than once a year should be done if you have certain risks or exceptions related to your eye health and physical health. An optometrist and/or your physician can help you determine whether it’s appropriate for you to get an eye exam more than once a year.
Reasons for getting an eye exam more than once a year include:
- If you have noticed vision changes within a year.
- If you have a family history of eye disease.
- If you have experienced previous eye trauma.
- If you wear contact lenses
- If you have had surgery on your eyes.
- If you have diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, or multiple sclerosis.
Reasons to schedule an eye exam right away:
- If you experience sudden vision changes.
- If you experience sudden or persistent pain in the eye region.
- If you notice vision changes after headaches.
- If your eyes are itchy, red and dry.
- If you have been noticing spots, floaters, or flashes of light in your line of vision.
- If you have to squint to read up close.
- If you find it difficult to read street signs while driving at night.
- If you get headaches, blurred vision, or eye strain from looking at a computer screen for long periods of time.
- If you have trouble following moving targets and get dizzy or nauseated when you try.
- If you can’t remember the last time you saw your optometrist for an eye exam.
Book an Eye Appointment
Whether it’s for pain, vision concerns, or simply getting a routine eye exam, it’s important to see your optometrist as part of your overall health and wellness routine. With insurance companies including optometrist services in their policies, there is no excuse not to see your eye doctor on a regular basis.
Written by Dr. Bosung Kim at Della Optique
About Dr. Bosung Kim
Dr. Bosung Kim received his Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Waterloo and pursued his Doctorate of Optometry at the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago graduating with Cum Laude Honors. He was a member of the Gold Key International Optometric Honor Society, Tomb and Key Honor Society, and also served as President of the Beta Sigma Kappa Optometric Honor Society during his studies.
Dr. Kim loves to provide optometric care because it allows him to focus on three of his passions: health care, building relationships, and fashion. He strives to help patients see their best and has been providing optometric care in the lower mainland since 2017.How Often Should Adults Get Eye Exams – According to an Optometrist