When to see an eye doctor

It is recommended that children have their eyes checked at birth, 6 months of age, 3 years old, and before entering kindergarten. Adults should see an eye doctor once between the ages of 20 and 30 and twice while you are in your 30s. Once you turn 40, it depends on your health and at 65, you should make an appointment at least once every year or two.

However, you will need eye care more often if you have health conditions or a family history of vision problems likes glaucoma, macular degeneration, or corneal diseases. In addition, you should also make an appointment if you suffer from any of the following:

  • Blurry vision or focus problems – If you suffer from sudden blurry vision or focus problems, it can be a sign of a larger health issue and should always be taken seriously. Moreover, if the blurry vision comes and goes or is limited to one eye, you should schedule an exam as soon as possible.
  • Visual disturbances – If you have a sudden onset of any visual disturbances including floaters, flashes of light, or obstruction of vision, it could be a sign of a serious, vision-threatening disorder such as a retinal detachment, retinal tear, or retinal hole. It is best that you seek medical attention as soon as possible, or even head to the emergency room.
  • Gradual Blurring of Vision – Whether you notice that you have to bring things closer to your face to read them or you have to move them further away, it is probably time to get an eye exam.
  • Headaches — If you are experiencing re-occurring headaches, it may be a sign of a vision problem as changes in vision take place slowly and are often undetectable.
  • Eye pain or eye strain — If you experience ongoing eye pain for more than a few days or if you have ongoing eye pain when you move your eyes if you know it is not from the amount of sleep your getting, seasonal allergies, a cold or the flu, it is a good idea to get it checked out as it may be a sign of an eye infection or more serious health condition. It could also be a warning sign that your vision has changed. Therefore, you should get it checked out.
  • Squinting — Frequent squinting is a classic sign that it is time for an eye exam. The act of squinting helps to reduce extraneous light from entering the eye and, therefore, improves vision.  This is often one of the first signs in children that they may need eyeglasses, especially if it is coupled with an eye turn which is also known as lazy eye.
  • Sensitivity to light — A sudden onset of sensitivity to light can be a sign that you need an eye exam as light sensitivity is a symptom of several disorders and eye diseases.
  • Eye Infection– If you experience swelling of the eyelids, itchiness, redness, a discoloration of the whites of your eyes, and/or have a discharge coming from your eyes, you may have an eye infection. Schedule an appointment with your optometrist or ophthalmologist as soon as possible.