With all that has been in the news recently about screening for breast cancer, many people are wondering what the guidelines are for other medical examinations. Eyesight is a precious gift.
EyeCare America, the foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, has published the following guidelines.
Child Eye MD Visits
Your child should have his or her eyes screened during regular pediatric appointments. Vision testing is recommended for all children by 3 years of age. An Ophthalmologist should be consulted sooner if there is a family history of vision problems, Strabismus—crossed eyes, Amblyopia—lazy eye, or Ptosis—drooping of the upper eyelid. Between the ages of 3 and 19 vision screenings should continue during regular checkups every one to two years.
Young Adult Eye MD Visits
Adults between the ages of 20 and 29 should have a complete medical eye exam at least once in that time period. For those between 30 and 39 years of age two exams during this time are recommended. The exceptions to the guidelines for adults from ages 20 to 39 are if the individual experiences visual changes, pain, flashes of light, seeing spots, distorted lines, or dry eyes with itching and burning.
Older Adult Eye MD Visits
In 2007 the American Academy of Ophthalmology issued new eye disease screening recommendations for adults 40 and older. The Academy now recommends that adults with no signs or risk factors for eye disease get a baseline eye disease screening at age 40 to investigate the possibility of hypertension, diabetes and diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, and cataracts, as well as other eye abnormalities. At that point, those people with or without risk factors can discuss how frequently their eyes should be examined in the future.