Just like other organs of your body, your eyes should be looked after carefully. It is imperative that we all have an eye exam regularly. This is even more important for children. Children should have an vision exam from as young as 6 months. At the ages of 3 and 6 their eyes should be examined again. Regular eye exams are particularly important when your child gets to high school. If you suspect your son or daughter may have an eye problem, don’t hesitate – get an eye exam done as quickly as possible.
Premature babies frequently get vision problems as they grow, so their eyes need to be checked more than a child with normal vision. Children with a family history of eye disorders are also at risk of hereditary vision problems, and they too need to have more frequent eye checkouts.
In adults, the frequency of eye exams will vary according to age. Adults older than 40 years with normal vision should have an eye exam every 2 or 3 years. But those who already wear glasses or contacts need an eye exam every year.
People with hypertension or diabetes must have an vision exam every year. Adults over the age of 40 need to have their eyes examined every two years, while those over 60 years of age must go once a year for an eye examination. People older than 60 years can be susceptible to presbyopia, macular degeneration and cataracts.
When deciding on where to go for your vision exams, there are three choices : an optometrist, an ophthalmologist or an optician. An ophthalmologist is qualified to do surgical procedures. An optometrist is qualified to prescribe medications and is able to perform certain surgeries. An optician is restricted to doing eye exams and carrying out repairs to glasses or contact lenses.
A regular vision exam comprises of the following : details of your family’s eye history, near and far sight testing, eye co-ordination, as well as an external and internal inspection of both eyes. If you already wear contacts or glasses, these will also be checked. The cost for an eye exam can usually be claimed from your medical insurance.
To maintain healthy eyes, you need to eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables : Take vitamin and mineral supplements. If your eyes are starved of Vitamin A, you could get night blindness. When going outdoors in bright sunlight, wear sunglasses that have high UV protection.
Smoking is very bad for your eyes : People who smoke heavily for a long period of time are prone to macular degeneration (blind spot on the eye) and even complete blindness. If you are a smoker, it’s time to start thinking of quitting.
Many vision problems are not associated with bad health : Accidents can occur which may affect the eyes. Welders who don’t bother to wear the correct protection for their eyes are putting their eyes on the line. Just one little spark in the eye can result in terrible damage. People who work with chemicals or hazardous tools must always wear protective eye wear.