Getting an Eye Exam

by Dr. Robert Benza, MD 2. August 2013 11:06

Who needs an eye exam and how often?   There is no absolute answer to this question.
I believe most eye physicians will answer the question differently.  A good way to approach
the situation is based on risk.  This is the question I ask myself: what patients are more likely
to have a problem that can be picked up in a routine exam?  In addition, which patients may not have
a problem, but are more likely to have a change in their vision or glasses prescription?
It's that time of the year!   Back to school!   This reminds us of the young people in the world.  They are
at points in their lives when their bodies undergo a great deal of change.  During this time, their eye prescription
has a tendency to change.  Young ladies in the age group of 10-16 and young men between ages 10 and 21
are more likely to have a change in their vision. We typically recommend a yearly exam for these young individuals
especially if they are already in glasses or contact lenses.
As we all mature, eye examinations become even more important.   We definitely want to examine patients over the
age of 60 on a yearly basis since they are at more risk for cataract, glaucoma and macular degeneration.
Patients with a family history of any significant eye disease should be seen yearly as well.  
Contact lens wearers should also been seen on an annual basis.  They need to have their corneas checked to make
sure there is not a lack of oxygenation due to overwear of contacts.  This is extremely important.  Many patients
with no change in their vision do not realize the necessity of an ocular exam.  Some examinations are designed for
evaluating a change in vision but equally important is the health portion of the exam.
As discussed above,  an annual eye examination can be very beneficial.  With today's technologies and medicines,
early detection is a great advantage.  Remember to have your eyes checked periodically even if you have good
vision with or without glasses.   Enjoy the rest of the summer.  Get those kids checked before school starts!
Remember,  protect those eyes!



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