How Often Should You Get Your Eyes Checked?

When it comes to your health, prevention is the best medicine. That’s why regular eye doctor visits are invaluable for maintaining your vision. When you get your eyes checked, the ophthalmologist makes sure your prescription hasn’t changed and tests for various conditions that could affect your eyesight. When caught and treated early, it’s possible to keep your vision crisp and clear.

The question many people have is how often should you get your eyes checked? Consider these recommendations.

Vision Correction Eye Exam

If you wear glasses or contact lenses, you should visit the eye doctor for a vision checkup every one to two years. Your prescription expires after this length of time, so it’s important to make sure your eyes haven’t changed before you buy new glasses or order more contacts.

Comprehensive Dilated Eye Exam

During more thorough eye exams, the ophthalmologist administers special eye drops that make your pupils dilate, or open wide so the doctor can take a closer look at the inside of your eyes. This is useful for detecting eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration.

Preventblindness.org advises having a comprehensive eye exam as often as recommended by your eye doctor. Here are the general guidelines for how frequently you should have comprehensive dilated eye exams:

  • 20 to 39 years old: Schedule a dilated eye exam every two to four years if you’re African-American, or every three to five years if you’re Caucasian.
  • 40 to 64 years old: Schedule a dilated eye exam every two to four years.
  • 65 years and older: Schedule a dilated eye exam every one to two years.
  • People with special needs: If you’re at risk for eye problems because you have diabetes, a previous eye trauma or surgery, or family history of eye disease, talk to your eye doctor about how often you should get your eyes checked.

Signs You Should Schedule an Eye Exam

Having a vision checkup once a year and following the above-recommended schedule for comprehensive dilated eye exams should keep your vision in good shape. However, if you experience symptoms of eye trouble, you should visit an ophthalmologist right away, no matter when your last eye exam was. Here are the signs you should schedule an eye exam:

  • Your eyes are itchy, red and dry.
  • You see spots, excessive floaters or flashes of light.
  • You have difficulty reading street signs while driving at night.
  • You get headaches or experience blurred vision or eye strain after working at a computer for a long time.
  • You have trouble following moving targets or get dizzy and nauseated when you try.
  • You have to squint to read books or newspapers up close.
  • You notice sudden changes in your vision, especially after experiencing head
  • You can’t remember the last time you had an eye exam.

Get your eyes checked today – call Gerstein Eye Institute in Chicago, IL at 773.596.9545 to schedule your next appointment!

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