Vision is one of the most important of the human senses. Each of us relies upon our eyes every day to learn and grow, perform our jobs and enjoy leisure activities with family and friends. In order to protect and maintain your eyesight throughout your lifetime we recommend that you have an eye exam performed regularly, especially when transitioning various age milestones. Click on any of the following headings to learn more about lifetime vision care.
Eye Exam Frequency Chart
Use this chart as a convenient indicator of how often you should have your eyes examined at various stages of your life to ensure optimal eye health and developmental progress.
Infant Eye Exams
From the time of birth until about 4 months of age an infant’s ocular structures are still developing. With time infant eyesight progresses from blurred patterns of light and dark to clearly delineated shapes, acute colour vision and the beginnings of eye movement control, which leads to the development of eye-hand coordination skills.
Visual acuity and clarity perform an integral function in a child’s visual development and it is important for parents and caregivers to be aware of problems or incongruities that may become apparent. For example, many infants’ eyes may appear to be slightly misaligned, or “crossed” at times. This is normal; however, if the eyes seem to be noticeably or persistently crossed, or the condition persists beyond the age of 6 months, it could be an indication of a problem such as strabismus, lazy eye syndrome, or lack of vision in one eye. Dr. Bryan Friedmann recommends that infants have their first eye exam performed at 6 months of age, and then annually after that.
Eye Exams for Preschoolers
During the toddler and early childhood years, children are busy developing eye-hand coordination, depth perception and other visual skills. It is very important during this stage that parents, caregivers and eye care professionals be alert in order to detect signs or symptoms of a visual problem.
Some of the symptoms to watch for include:
If you notice any of these symptoms in your child, call Dr. Bryan Friedmann to schedule a comprehensive eye exam.
Eye Exams for School-Age Children
The school years are a very significant time in a child’s life; they are learning to understand and interact with the world outside the family unit, so it is important that they be able to see and understand clearly. Vision problems or impairments can interfere with this process, requiring an affected child to work harder and sometimes leading to headaches and fatigue. Speak with Dr. Friedmann if you should notice any of the following symptoms in your child:
School age children should have a complete eye exam performed annually throughout their school years in order to detect signs or symptoms of a visual problem.
Adults (Age 19 – 64)
Not only does having an annual eye exam performed protect your vision as you age, it can also serve as an indicator for problems with your overall physical health, such as diabetes, auto-immune conditions, circulatory problems and other health-related concerns. Other common eye maladies experienced by adults include presbyopia (a natural effect of aging in which the ability to focus on close objects decreases over time) and cataracts. Persons who have been diagnosed with diabetes should also be aware of the signs of diabetic retinopathy, a weakening or swelling of the tiny blood vessels in the retina of the eye, and the growth of new blood vessels resulting in blood leakage and other changes. If left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can cause blindness. Adults who are 19 to 64 years of age should have an eye exam performed at least every two years, and people with diabetes should have an exam at least once a year.
Anyone who is 65 years of age or older should undergo a comprehensive eye exam at least once a year in order to preserve their vision and to identify potential health issues early. Early identification and treatment of conditions, especially those that may have no visible symptoms, is key to protecting your sight and your overall health.
Seniors are at risk for the same eye conditions as adults of other ages, such as presbyopia and cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, but may also notice the development of “low vision”, a limitation of eyesight that occurs as we get older.
For more information about conditions and diseases that affect vision clarity and the importance of lifetime eye exams, visit www.doctorsofoptometry.ca or contact Dr. Bryan Friedmann to schedule an appointment.