How Often Should Your Eyes Be Examined?
how often your eyes should be examined

How Often Should Your Eyes Be Examined?

January 1, 2021

There isn’t much argument over the fact that you should see your physician for an annual physical checkup. Dentists everywhere hope we all agree that we should get a dental checkup every six months. But what about your eyes? How often should you go to see an eye doctor in Calgary? The short answer to that important question is “It depends.” We’ll go through the factors you should keep in mind while coming up with the longer answer to the question “How often should you go see an eye doctor in Calgary?”

What happens at eye exams anyway?

During a general eye examination at a Calgary eye clinic, your doctor will examine your eyes closely for any signs of disease (such as glaucoma and macular degeneration) and conduct a visual acuity test. During a visual acuity test, the eye doctor will test what you are able to see from varying distances — with your left, your right, and both eyes combined. Depending on the result of the test, the doctor may measure a prescription to define any vision impairment or update your prescription to identify any changes.

The precise nature of the physical examinations, tests, and follow-up steps will vary depending on two things: your age and the presence of any risk factors. We’ll explain both those topics below.

How old are you?

A child under the age of six should undergo two eye examinations: one at the age of six months and a second one at the age of three years.

Over the age of six, a child should undergo an eye examination every other year unless an eye condition has been identified or they have risk factors for developing an eye condition, in which case more frequent examinations should be performed.

For people between the age of 18 and 60 who have no eye conditions and for whom no refractive errors (vision impairment described in a prescription) has been identified, an eye examination is recommended every other year.

Once you reach your sixtieth birthday, you are at an increased risk of developing eye conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. Because of that increased risk, a person 60 years old and older should visit an eye doctor in Calgary once annually.

Do you have any risk factors for eye conditions?

The guidelines above are a general rule. Someone who has risk factors for the development of eye conditions, more frequent eye examinations by an eye doctor or eye surgeons in Calgary may be appropriate. Those kinds of risk factors include:

  • Children with significant refractive errors identified in a visual acuity test
  • Children with developmental problems
  • Children with strabismus (crossed eyes) or amblyopia (lazy eye)
  • Children with a family history of eye disease
  • Infants born prematurely should undergo an eye exam earlier than at the age of six months
  • Adults with a high refractive error identified in a visual acuity test
  • Adults with a family history of eye disease
  • Adults with diabetes, hypertension, and who take medications such as corticosteroids

The objective of regular eye examinations is to identify any issues as early as possible and to permit interventions while eye conditions and vision loss can be prevented or corrected as simply and quickly as possible. Whatever your age and condition, though, if it’s been more than a couple of years since your last eye examination, eye doctors in Calgary recommend you reach out to an eye doctor near you to arrange an examination.

We all hope that the examination turns out to be a “waste of time,” but at least it’ll offer peace of mind and identify any issues to keep an eye on going forward.