Getting your eyes checked on a regular basis can help to catch potential eye problems, such as disease before they become a more significant concern. The sooner a problem is detected, the better the chances that treatment improves the condition. Adults and children are recommended to have eye exams on a regular basis. Adults 40 years of age and older should have eye exams every 2 to 4 years whereas those with a history of eye or vision problems should see an eye doctor yearly. For those with diabetes, regular eye exams should be within five years of being diagnosed with type I and for those with diabetes type II, it should be performed yearly. Regular eye exams can help to detect the following conditions:
Eye exams for children are extremely important to determine early onset vision problems. Children are often more responsive to treatment when problems are diagnosed early. According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), infants should have their first eye exam at six months of age. For school-aged children, the AOA recommends an eye exam every two years if no vision correction is required.
The pupil is the opening in the center of the eye. When your pupil is not dilated, it limits the depth at which your optometrist can see to the back of your eye and properly evaluate the findings. Dilating the pupil with medicated drops widens it and allows for a more intricate exam as more of the eye is visible. This type of exam is very important for those with diabetes and when viewing the retina, the macula, and the optic nerve. Dilation of the eye is not a painful process and typically takes anywhere from 15-30 minutes. The drops will usually wear off in 4-6 hours.
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