It’s important for adults 40 and older to have eye exams every 2 to 4 years to check for problems. Those who have a history of eye problems or who are at risk for developing them should see an eye doctor every year. Regular eye exams are critical for finding:
- Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
- Diabetic retinopathy
This is particularly important if you have risk factors or a family history of eye problems.
For adults younger than 40 without any problems, the recommendations vary from routine tests every 2 years to no tests. If you have a health condition such as high blood pressure, work in a visually demanding job, or take medications that can affect eyesight, you may need more frequent exams. People with diabetes type I should get their eyes checked within 5 years of being diagnosed and be examined every year afterwards. Those diagnosed with diabetes type II should have their eyes checked immediately and have a yearly exam after that.
Preparing for Your Eye Exam
When you call to make an appointment for an eye exam, briefly and clearly describe any vision problem you’re having.
Before you come, list questions for the eye doctor. Be prepared to discuss any medication you’re taking and your (and your family’s) eye health history. Come with your glasses and contact lenses, if you use them, and sunglasses for the trip home with your pupils dilated.