Why Are Eye Exams Important?

Even though eye diseases are non-life-threatening, we must not forget that damage to our eyes can be irreversible. The aim of an eye examination is to look for the common diseases that affect our eyes and which could lead to temporary or permanent loss of sight, especially as some eye diseases do not present any early stage symptoms. People at risk of eye disease include those who:
 
  • Have systemic diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, HIV/AIDS, or sickle cell disease
  • Have a history of eye diseases, such as retinal detachment, eye trauma, or loss of sight in one or both eyes
  • Have a family history of eye diseases, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, or other heritable ocular diseases
  • Are of African descent and over 20 years of age
  • Have visually demanding jobs or activities
  • Take medications which affect the eyes
  • Wear contact lenses

 

In addition, people age 40 and over should generally have regular eye examinations, even if they are not at any greater risk, as the most common eye diseases and changes in our vision tend to occur at this age. Having an eye exam will help identify these common eye diseases, as well as the less common, but equally serious, diseases which can cause vision loss, such as eye tumors. Identifying any abnormalities in the eyes can also serve as an indicator of other bodily abnormalities, for example, high blood pressure or diabetes.
 

Examination Interval Chart

Age

Frequency of Examination

Asymptomatic / Not at Risk

At Risk

Newborn - 24 months

At 6 months of age

At 6 months of age or as recommended by the doctor

2-5 years

At 3 years of age

At 3 years of age or as recommended by the doctor

6-18 years

Before 6 years of age and every 2 years after

Every year or as recommended by the doctor

18-39 years

At least one examination during this period

Every 1-2 years or as recommended by the doctor

40-45 years

Every 2-4 years

Every 1-3 years or as recommended by the doctor

55-64 years

Every 1-3 years

Every 1-2 years or as recommended by the doctor

65 ปีขึ้นไป

Every 1-2 years (even in the absence of symptoms)

Every year or as recommended by the doctor

 

By Dr. Orathai Suwanpimolkul, Ophthalmologist, Eye Center, Bumrungrad Hospital
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Posted by Bumrungrad International