When Should I Have My Next Routine Eye Examination?

When Should I Have My Next Routine Eye Examination?

October 12th, 2022

Regular checkups with your eye doctor are the best way to ensure your eyes are healthy and your sight is protected. But how often should you schedule a routine eye exam? 

The answer depends on a variety of factors like your age, your eye health, and your family history of eye conditions. Luckily, the American Academy of Ophthalmology has produced general guidelines to help guide you. 

Keep reading to learn more about when you should have your next routine eye examination!

Guidelines for Children

Growth and change are constant through childhood and the teenage years. Typically early vision screening is performed during standard checkups.

However, comprehensive eye exams should be scheduled regularly as well. 

Newborn to Toddler

At birth, a newborn is checked for basic indicators of eye health. Between six and twelve months, a pediatrician will again examine the eyes as part of a well-child visit. 

And between twelve and thirty-six months, the pediatrician will ensure your child has healthy eye development. If any problems arise, they will be referred to a pediatric eye doctor.

Toddler to School Age

Between three and five years, vision and eye alignment should be checked, either by a pediatrician, ophthalmologist, or optometrist. At the age of five, when a child can identify numbers and letters and read an eye chart, they should be screened for visual acuity and alignment. 

The most common problem in this age group is nearsightedness or myopia, which can be corrected with prescription glasses. Vision screening is usually an easy way to ensure good eye health, but if a child fails a vision screening, that’s when a comprehensive eye exam with an eye doctor is required. 

Guidelines for Adults

If you’ve experienced healthy vision for most of your life, you may wonder if and when you need an eye exam.

In Your 20s and 30s

A baseline eye exam should be done by an eye doctor when you reach your twenties, and if no problems are identified, your eye doctor will likely say that you can wait until your thirties for the next one. 

Typically, it is recommended that healthy adults with no vision problems have at least two eye exams during their thirties. Of course, if you have an infection, injury, eye pain, or if you see sudden floaters or flashes of light, get in touch with your eye doctor right away. 

If you have a family history of eye disease or if you have diabetes, discuss a schedule with your eye doctor for routine checkups to stay on top of healthy vision. 

When You Turn 40

The AAO recommends a complete eye examination at age forty. Changes in vision or early signs of certain eye conditions often appear around this time. 

Early diagnosis means early treatment, and the best way to save your sight is to take care of it before problems develop or worsen. Again, if you have diabetes, a family history of eye conditions, or you have high blood pressure, don’t wait until you’re forty to schedule a comprehensive eye exam. 

When You Reach Your 60s

At age sixty-five or older, have your eyes checked annually. Aging eyes are at greater risk for cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, and glaucoma. 

Share All Pertinent Information With Your Eye Doctor

Whatever age you are, always make sure you share as much information with your eye doctor as possible during every visit. Make sure to report information about your family health history, any concerns or pains you may be experiencing, and any other chronic conditions you may be receiving care for. 

Certain medications put you at higher risk of developing certain eye conditions, so help your eye doctor help you by being specific and straightforward about your overall health. 

Is it time to schedule a routine eye exam? Schedule an appointment at Laser Eye Center in Hunstville, AL, today!