How Often Should You Get a Vision Test?

Your eyes are among your most important organs. But how often do you have them checked? And if you think you are slacking in this area, how often should you have them checked? There are different determinants to these questions: the two of most significance are age and eye health.

Vision changes are often overlooked because the brain will adapt as your sight changes. When it fades, your brain will accommodate for the loss unless the loss is sudden or dramatic. Your mind will trick you into thinking all is well, when in fact, it’s time for a new eyeglass prescription. This is why board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Brian Will recommends a complete eye examination at least every two to three years. But this period will change as you get older. Here’s an age breakdown of how often you should get a vision test:

Age Six-Months to 20 Years

Unless you child’s pediatrician finds a problem with your kid’s vision, Dr. Will recommends having the child’s eyes tested at six months. Then again when they enter school (kindergarten or 1st grade) and periodically afterward as you see fit. Seeing clearly is critical for their education because about 80% of what a child learns comes from what he sees.

If there is a vision problem, your child’s pediatrician will recommend more frequent eye exams. But there are some things that you may notice that should raise red flags, like frequent blinking, rubbing the eyes, or winking one eye for better focus. Other signs include:

  • Headaches and fatigue
  • Holding something close to read or examine
  • Tilting the head to one side
  • Double vision
  • Difficulty with reading comprehension
  • An eye that strays to one side
  • Trouble paying attention at school

Age 20-39

If you fall in this age bracket, you should have an exam every two or three years. If you’re an African American, you’re at a higher risk of vision loss, so make it ever one to two years. However, there are reasons to go to the eye clinic more often, including:

  • Taking medication known to cause vision loss
  • Wear prescription glasses or contacts
  • Family has a history of eye disease
  • Had eye surgery or injury
  • Have diabetes or high blood pressure

Age 40-64

Your eyes will go through many changes during this period. Your vision will probably diminish as the years pass. Changing your eyeglass prescription is necessary for many patients. And the eye lens slowly hardens after age 35. This age-related change is the reason most adults over 45 need reading glasses.

Over 65

Once you are eligible for Medicare, we recommend a complete eye exam each year. Seniors are more likely to develop cataracts and vision related issues due to health factors. Like everything else health related, eye care increases as you get older.

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