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How Often Should People Get Their Eyes Checked as They Age?

There are just some healthcare tasks we know we need to do regularly to maintain good overall health. You should see your dentist every six months. You should get a checkup with your primary care physician once a year. But what about your eyes? Unfortunately, preventative eye care and regular checkups often get overlooked more often than dental care and basic healthcare needs. Everybody should see an optometrist regularly, but how often you see yours will depend on several factors, including your age. Keep reading to learn how often you should be seeing your optometrist and how aging impacts that schedule.

Young Adults with No Vision Problems

If you are a young adult between the ages of 20 and 39, and you have no existing vision problems or worrisome eye health symptoms, you should visit your optometrist for an eye exam every five years. Obviously, this is not very frequent, and a lot can happen over five years. So, if you notice any changes to your vision during that time period, you should make an appointment much sooner.

Additionally, if you have an existing prescription for contacts or glasses, you will likely need to see your optometrist every year. This will keep your prescription up to date and ensure that you can get your lenses when you need them.

Early Middle-Aged Adults

As you enter your 40s, you should start to see your optometrist more often—about every 2 to 4 years. Between the ages of 40 and 54, new vision problems can develop related to aging. This is particularly true if you suffer from other conditions that can impact your vision, including diabetes. Diabetes can lead to diabetic retinopathy, and though it can develop slowly, there are often no early warning signs. It’s important to see your optometrist more frequently in these years (regardless of whether or not you have diabetes), as vision changes become more common at this stage of life.

Late Middle-Aged Adults

From the ages of 55 to 64, you may need to start seeing your optometrist slightly more frequently. Most people in this age group should be getting a vision screening every 1 to 3 years. Again, age-related vision changes are common during this time period. Here are just a few of the common vision changes that can occur as you reach your 60s:

  • Age-related macular degeneration – A sudden decrease in visual clarity that makes it difficult to clearly see things around you. This can impact your ability to perform everyday activities like driving, reading, and more.
  • Cataracts – Cloudy areas that develop on the lens of the eye, leading to hazy or blurry vision. Surgery can correct this issue, particularly if it’s addressed early.
  • Glaucoma – Condition caused by too much fluid pressure inside the eye, which can lead to vision loss and even blindness if left untreated. Those with glaucoma often experience no early symptoms, which is why regular screenings are so important to prevent the loss of your eyesight.

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Senior Citizens

Your risk of developing the above-mentioned vision issues continues to increase as you age, which is why senior citizens over the age of 65 should visit their optometrists every year. While some vision loss with age is normal (just like some muscle loss is normal later in life), due to the daily strain we put on our eyes, regular eye screenings can help you have better vision for longer.

Contact Bay Hill Eye Care today for a comprehensive eye exam. We can help address any developing vision issues before they become more serious, fit you with scleral contact lenses in Orlando if needed, and provide you with further guidance for prolonged eye health.