Getting regular eye exams are an important part of staying healthy, especially as you age. It’s important to see an ophthalmologist on a regular basis to check for eye diseases and illnesses that can affect your vision. You don’t want to be caught off-guard with a vision problem that may impact your sight.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, everyone should get a baseline eye exam at age 40, since this is the average age when vision changes and early symptoms of eye diseases occur. A baseline screening can help to identify potential vision problems and provide recommended treatments that help to prevent vision loss. Based on your baseline screening results, your ophthalmologist can suggest recommended follow-up exams to address vision problems.
Although age 40 is recommended for a baseline screening, that doesn’t mean you should wait until age 40 to have an eye exam. If you have a family history of eye disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure, your risks for developing certain eye diseases such as cataracts. diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma are higher. According to the Centers for Disease Control, over four million adults over age 40 have diabetic retinopathy caused by their diabetes. This eye disease often leads to complete blindness. If you have a family history, start getting regular eye exams at an earlier age to protect your vision.
If you’re age 65 or older, you should have an eye exam once a year, since your risk for eye disease increases with age. Your ophthalmologist has a variety of ophthalmic equipment that can detect age-related eye diseases like cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. Glaucoma affects over three million people in the U.S. Unfortunately, many people don’t even know they have it because there are no symptoms. If the disease is not detected early, vision loss can be extensive.
Many eye problems can be corrected if they are detected early. With advanced ophthalmic equipment, your ophthalmologist can do a variety of exams to check for eye diseases that can impact your vision. Be smart and get regular eye exams to stay healthy and protect your vision.