Eye Exams: Why are they Important and When Should I Get One?

Frequency of Eye Exams - Eye Care Oakville

Your eyes are, very literally, your window to the world! It’s important to get regular eye exams to help ensure your eyes stay in their healthiest form. With the increased use of screens and digital media in our world today, the pressure on our eyes is greater than it has ever been before. Getting regular eye exams can help detect vision problems, eye diseases and any eye health problems before you even know there’s a problem!

How often should you get your eyes examined?

Children

The Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO) recommends that children have their eyes examined first at around 6 months old, again around 3 years, then again when they begin school. After that, it’s recommended they get their eyes checked every 2 years if they do not present with any risk factors (or yearly once they start needing glasses). However, OHIP covers yearly eye exams for anyone under 19, so it’s wise to get their eyes examined yearly.

The CAO provides a policy position with eye exam frequency guidelines to assist you (for those at low risk), tabled here:2018 CAO Frequency of Eye Exams Table

For Children, Learning is Visual

One of the most significant reasons for a child to get eye exams regularly is because most of what they’ll learn in life is learned visually. Children are also using digital devices earlier and with more frequency, and these screens are generally more visually demanding than reading books and other printed items. This places increased strain on their eyes, so it’s best to keep up to date on their eye health.

Adults

As you enter adulthood the AOA recommends getting an eye exam every 2 years provided you are not at risk for any significant issues. If at any time you start wearing contact lenses, you should get your eyes examined yearly.

Seniors

Just like the rest of your body, your eyes weaken as you age and the risk for developing eye diseases increases. Once you’ve reached 65 years of age, you should start getting your eyes examined yearly to help prevent and diagnose many possible conditions. Getting an eye exam regularly can getting prevent against complications and blindness from conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration. And good news is that OHIP covers a yearly exam for anyone over 65!

Early Detection is Key

Many vision threatening eye conditions have few to no symptoms until the disease has progressed. Getting regular eye exams is critical in preventing and treating many of these diseases that can potentially lead to blindness and other complications.

Most eye conditions are much easier to treat if caught early, so get your eyes examined regularly especially if you have one or more of the following risk factors:

  • High blood pressure or diabetes
  • A job that is visually demanding or may be hazardous to the eyes
  • A family history of eye disease
  • Past eye injuries
  • Having had eye surgery in the past
  • Taking prescription or non-prescription drugs with vision or eye related side effects
  • Wearing contact lenses

Loss of vision can often be prevented or reduced if the problem is caught and treated early, so don’t put off getting your eyes examined!

Don’t take chances with your eyesight! Schedule your next eye exam with Envision Eyecare in Oakville today!