Posted March 10, 2011
Recognizing Save Your Vision Month, March 2011
Your eyes give a unique impression about you. Do you take care of your eyes to keep them healthy?
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), by 2020 more than 43 million Americans will be at risk for significant vision loss or blindness from eye diseases, including cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration. This is a 50 percent increase over the number of Americans currently diagnosed with these diseases.
Many eye diseases do not have symptoms that are easily recognized. Often the vision gradually changes until there is a noticeable difference. Routine eye examinations are essential for eye doctors to detect vision changes in the early stages. For example, diabetes and hypertension affect the blood vessels in the eyes, which eye professionals can identify during a comprehensive eye examination. This type of evaluation is more than just a vision check; it is a series of tests that review the eyes’ sight, muscle coordination, neurological function and the internal and external structure.
The AAO recommends the following guidelines for scheduling a comprehensive eye examination.
- First exam at six months of age, another at age three, and again when starting grade school
- Children without vision concerns should have eye exams every two years until age 18
- Those with vision risk factors may need an exam before six months of age, with more frequent appointments as recommended by their eye doctor
- Under age 40, every 5 to 10 years
- 40 to 54 years of age, every 2 to 4 years
- 55 to 64 years of age, every 1 to 3 years
- 65 years of age or older, every 1 to 2 years
Since individuals have different eye care needs based on family, medical and vision history, follow your eye doctor’s recommendations for scheduling regular examinations.
When is the last time you scheduled an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam? – Scott Delisi, Ameritas Group