Many people do not realize the importance of seeing an eye doctor on a regular basis, especially if they do not seem to have any apparent vision problems. Although your vision seems fine, that does not mean there are not potential problems. Regular eye exams can prevent problems before they occur.
Prevention Begins Early
Children should have their vision assessed by an eye doctor to determine whether they have any problems with their eyes. Even if the tests come out normal, regular visits to the eye doctor can keep their eyes healthy and prevent any future vision problems. If any problems are detected, they can be treated and corrected. The American Optometric Association recommends that infants should have their first eye exam around 6 months of age. Following the initial exam, children should see an eye doctor every 2 to 3 years and right before entering school
Age and Health Conditions
As people age, they may experience some loss of vision acuity. Health conditions such as diabetes can also affect vision. It is important to have regular eye exams to detect vision loss or that may result from conditions such as cataracts or glaucoma. People with glaucoma can experience permanent vision loss and many of them are not even aware that they have the condition because they do not see the eye doctor on a regular basis. These people may lose their vision unnecessarily because it could have been prevented. Regular eye exams can also help to provide early insight into other health conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.
Work and Play
Good vision is necessary for many of the activities we engage in daily, from work to play. People often spend hours in front of computer screens at work and then go home and spend time on the computer. Spending so much time looking at a computer screen can cause headaches that result from eye strain. Reading, sewing, woodworking and many other activities can strain the eyes. It is necessary to see the eye doctor in order to maintain good eye health and to determine if our eyes would benefit from prescription lenses.
Scheduling Eye Exams
People that do not have any apparent eye problems should see the eye doctor every two years for a routine exam. Those who wear glasses / contacts or have some type of eye condition should see their doctor annually. It is also recommended that those aged 40 or under with normal eye health schedule an exam every two years. People aged 40 to 64 with no vision loss can also follow that schedule. However, people aged 65 or older as well as those who experience any vision loss should have an exam annually at minimum. People should see their eye doctor as soon as possible if they experience headaches or blurry vision.