Everyone should take an eye examination at least every two years regardless of your age or physical health.
During a complete eye examination, your eye doctor will not only determine your prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses, but also check your eyes for common eye diseases, assess how your eyes work together as a team and evaluate your eyes as an indicator of your overall health.
Who Should Get Their Eyes Examined?
Eye examinations are an important part of health maintenance for everyone. Adults should have their eyes tested to keep their prescriptions current and to check for early signs of eye disease. For children, eye exams can play an important role in normal development.
In addition to evaluating whether you have nearsightedness, farsightedness or “lazy eyes”, your eye doctor will check your eyes for eye diseases and other problems that could lead to vision loss.
Vision screenings are general eye tests that are meant to help identify people who are at risk for vision problems. Screenings include brief vision tests performed by a school nurse, pediatrician or volunteers. The eye test you take when you get your driver’s license renewed is an example of a vision screening. A vision screening can indicate that you need to get an eye exam, but it does not serve as a substitute for a comprehensive eye exam.
A comprehensive eye examination is performed by an eye doctor and will involve careful testing of all aspects of your vision. Based upon the results of your exam, your doctor will then recommend a treatment plan for your individual needs. Remember, only an eye doctor can provide a comprehensive eye exam. Most family physicians and pediatricians are not fully trained to do this, and studies have shown that they can miss important vision problems that require treatment.
Treatment plans can include eyeglasses or contact lenses, eye exercises or surgery for muscle problems, medical treatment for eye disease or simply a recommendation that you have your eyes examined again in a specified period of time.
No matter who you are, regular eye examinations are important for seeing more clearly, learning more easily and protecting you from losing your sight.