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Recommended Eye Exam Schedules

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Updated November 13, 2012

Infants:

Infants are born with underdeveloped visual systems. Your child's vision will grow and develop throughout the first year of life.

  • First eye exam: Infants should have their first eye exam at 6 months of age. Certain conditions that require attention can be detected early, such as strabismus or nystagmus.


  • InfantSEE is a public health program designed to ensure that eye and vision care becomes an integral part of wellness care to improve a child's quality of life. Member optometrists will provide a comprehensive infant eye assessment within the first year of life as a no cost public health service.

Preschool Children:

Your child will be fine-tuning his visual system during the preschool years, ages three to six. During this stage of life it is important to detect vision problems that may delay development if not corrected.

  • Exam schedule: Preschool children should have a children's eye exam by the age of three, then another exam before entering school.


  • Vision corrected children: If a child's vision requires correction during this time, an eye exam is recommended every year.

School-Age Children:

If your child shows signs of struggling at school, an undetected vision problem may be to blame. Many children’s vision problems go undetected during school vision screenings, so parents and teachers should watch for warning signs that may signal vision problems.

  • Exam schedule: School-age children should have an eye exam every two to three years if they have no visual problems.


  • Vision corrected children: If a child requires glasses or contact lenses, an exam should be scheduled every 12 months.

Adults:

Eye examinations are an important part of health maintenance for adults.

  • Vision corrected adults: Adults who wear eyeglasses or contacts should have an eye exam every year.


  • Uncorrected adults: Adults without vision correction need an eye exam every two to three years up to the age of 40.


  • Adults with health compromises: More frequent examinations may be needed for adults with diabetes, high blood pressure and other disorders, because many diseases can affect the overall health of your eyes.

Adults Over 40:

As we near the age of 40, we may need a little help seeing things up close and in the intermediate zones. There are several lens options available today to treat presbyopia, or the eye's diminished ability to focus that occurs with aging.

  • Exam schedule: After age 40, it's smart to have a comprehensive eye exam every year to check for common age-related eye problems such as presbyopia, cataracts and macular degeneration.


  • Eye disease detection: Because the risk of eye disease increases with advancing age, everyone over the age of 60 should have their eyes examined every 12 months.

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