Eye exam intervals and preparation
Eye health and good eyesight are important for human beings. But a worrying fact is that visual refractive errors, ocular disorders and even eye diseases are on the rise in recent years. While eye care professionals are trying to develop new and advanced solutions to various eye problems, the work of eye health maintenance and disease prevention is actually more meaningful. Having regular comprehensive eye examinations is an important point. And different people should receive complete eye exams at different intervals.
When do infants need eye exams?
Infants’ eyes should be examined at six months of age, three years of age, and six or seven years of age and every two years during school days. A main reason for this high frequency is that high rates of vision problem are reported among both preschool and school-aged children. For children who are at the risk of developing vision-related problems such as pre-maturity, developmental delays, turned eyes, family history of eye diseases and history of eye injury, more frequent eye exams are necessary.
Eye checkups for adults at different ages
Similarly, adults at different ages need eye exams in different frequencies. Based on the requirements set by the American Optometric Association (AOA), people less than 40 years old need one exam every two or three years if they have normal vision. But for adults in this group who need to use prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses, annual eye exams are a must. Moreover, people with diabetes, high blood pressure and other disorders should even take eye exams more frequently. People over 40 need eye exams every one to two years and seniors over 60 also need annual exams, in case of age-related ocular problems such as presbyopia, cataracts and macular degeneration.
Where to get regular eye exams?
In the United States, ophthalmologists, optometrists, as well as opticians can conduct regular eye exams. Ophthalmologists are the most professional since they are exclusively licensed to perform eye surgeries. Optometrists can prescribe certain medications and minor surgical procedures, while opticians are only entitled to adjust and repair prescription glasses, or fit contact lenses. It depends on personal visual condition when people try to select an eye care practitioner. In most cases, young guys and ladies using Rx eyewear only need to visit an optician, while seniors at higher risk of serious eye problems are strongly encouraged to take comprehensive eye exams from an ophthalmologist or optometrist.
Examination items and cost
A basic complete eye exam should contain several items: family eye history review, distance and near vision evaluation, current eye prescription determination, eye coordination evaluation and internal and external eye health examination. You should be clear of all these items as well as the exact charge at the time you make an appointment with your doctor. Exam fees for contact lens fitting, laser-surgery evaluation and pediatric testing are higher than that of regular exams. You should check your vision insurance benefits for potential discount, since exam fees vary widely from discount outlets to surgical offices.
Necessary preparation before visiting an ECP for eye exam
For better exam results, you need to take necessary documents and cards of yourself and your family members. Your vision insurance card is needed if you want to get any discount. For your eyes’ full evaluation, major medical health care cards and recent prescription glasses or contacts may be useful to provide additional aspects of eye exam. A list of your prescription medications can help the doctor learn your complete health history. Of course, you can bring with interested questions.
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