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Many of our patients say that they treat their eye exams like they treat the dentist; they don’t go unless it is absolutely necessary. We think that some of this comes from a lack of information or too much of the wrong information. A general eye exam is a great and simple tool that you can use to ensure that your eyesight is cared for throughout your life. It’s always best to get your regular checkups rather than come in after you’ve been injured or already noticed a change in your vision.
As we get busy, it is easy to put off the things when we don’t know that there is an issue. Eye exams are a quick and easy check to make sure that any issues are caught when they are smaller and more treatable. Regular exams also allow your eye doctor to make small changes to your prescription when they are needed to reduce undue strain or wear on your eyes.
The rules aren’t fast and hard on this topic. Patients with some conditions may need to visit their eye doctor more frequently. Additionally, age can play a significant part in your own suggested routine.
Children Three and Under – When children are three years old or younger, eye doctors are typically looking for general eye problems. These include lazy, crossed, or misaligned eyes. If there is a concern, that is the time to schedule an appointment. A more comprehensive exam can be completed between the ages of three and five.
School-Age Children to Adolescent – Your child should complete an eye exam before they enter first grade. If there is no significant issue that is found and nothing that concerns your eye doctor, then it is okay to complete an exam every year or two. However, follow the guidance that your doctor provides.
Adults – As you age, the frequency of your visits should increase. However, for those that are between 20-30 years old, an eye exam every five to ten years is suggested unless there is an issue. Every two years is recommended for adults between 40-54, and every year or so thereafter.
While age is one factor in the frequency of your eye exams, there are exceptions to this. For individuals who already wear contacts or glasses, they should schedule an appointment more frequently. If you have a family history that may make you more prone to certain diseases or issues, increasing the number of appointments is a good idea. Finally, if you are diagnosed with a disease, like diabetes, or you take medications that may affect your vision, it is a good idea to talk with your eye doctor.
When you schedule your appointment, it is important to bring your current prescription lens. This can help your eye doctor evaluate your vision in your current prescription and see if it is necessary to make any changes. You can also have your glasses inspected to ensure that all of the joints are tight and if there are any repairs or adjustments that should be made.
You may also want to bring a pair of sunglasses with you. If your eyes are dilated during your exam, it can make them very sensitive to light. While our staff has temporary sunglasses that you can wear if you don’t have yours, many patients prefer their own eyewear.
If it’s time for you to schedule your general eye exam, or if you just aren’t sure, call our offices today. Our expert staff in Walla Walla, WA can review your history and let you know if it’s a good time to come in. Of course, if you notice changes or are having any issues, we can make sure to get your problems solved and keep your eyes healthy.