3 Life-Saving Benefits of Regular Eye Exams

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An eye exam could save your life. Most people think an exam is just a vision checkup, but eye doctors can detect many signs of medical problems during the tests. Here are important facts to know:

  1. Establishes a health baseline – Scheduling eye exams as directed by your doctor will help develop a baseline of your eye tissues, so changes can be detected easily. Research demonstrates that people with vision insurance are more likely to schedule regular exams. Eye doctors recommend getting a baseline comprehensive eye exam before or at age 40.
  1. Identifies potential health problems – The eye is the only part of the body where doctors can get a clear view of blood vessels, nerves and connecting tissue, reports the American Academy of Ophthalmology. The eyes have a unique communication role with other parts of the body because they reflect medical problems located elsewhere. Even a miniscule dot in a blood vessel may be detected during an exam, which could be a sign of cancer or a mass that could lead to stroke. Other potential medical problems eye doctors can detect include diabetes, high blood pressure, autoimmune diseases, sexually transmitted diseases, brain bleed, stroke, head trauma or eye diseases, such as glaucoma or macular degeneration.
  1. Timing for regular exams – The American Optometric Association has developed guidelines for the frequency of eye exams. (It’s important to note that family history or previous vision and medical issues may require adults and their dependents to have a comprehensive eye exam more often.) Comprehensive exams should be scheduled at:
  • Age 6 months
  • Age 3
  • Age 5 or 6 – before entering first grade and every two years thereafter
  • Age 18 to 60 – every two years
  • Age 61 and older – every year

Learn more about what happens during an eye exam.


Get Screened at 40
Your Eyes Could Be the Windows to Your Health
Recommended Eye Examination Frequency for Pediatric Patients and Adults


  • Max Jones ,

    I had no idea that when you get an eye exam, its one of the only times that a doctor has a clear view of blood vessels. I think another benefit of when you get an eye exam is getting to enjoy your corrected vision. I remember after I got my first eye exam, and it was like seeing the world all new!

    • Sharon Wilson-Smith ,

      I never knew that eye examinations can help doctors to get a clear view of blood vessels, nerves, and connecting tissue that can give them a signal if there’s a health issue that needs to be dealt with such as diabetes. Our family has a history of diabetes, and it’s important for me to prevent from having it as well. It’s crucial for me to make sure that I can do the necessary steps to prevent any health issues from getting worse. I will make sure to consider visiting an eye doctor soon.

      • Latoya Anderson ,

        My favorite part of your blog is when you talked about how comprehensive eye exams should regularly be done every 2 years for people ages 18-60 years old. My husband and I want to make sure that we have healthy visions since both of our families have histories of eye problems. We’re wondering how often should we undergo eye exams to keep our eyes healthy, so I’m glad that I came across your blog. Thanks for sharing this.

        • Duncan Lance ,

          It can really surprise people to learn just how helpful regular eye exams can be. As the article points out though, they are essential for identifying health problems early. After all, if the eye doctor can detect the eye disease during the exam then they can immediately start talking to you about options to treat it.

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