How Often Should My Child & I Get Eye Exams?

Parenting doesn’t come with a manual, nor does adulting for that matter. When should you get your child’s first eye exam and how frequently for future exams thereafter? And as adults, we aren’t always afforded the time to take care of our own health. But, knowing how often to have your eyes examined and taking the time to do so is imperative for your health.

The American Optometric Association recommends children get their first eye exam at six months or as recommended if at risk, followed by an exam at three years, then before first grade and every two years thereafter unless at risk. For at-risk pediatric patients, AOA suggests annual check-ups or as recommended.

What is considered at risk for development of eye and vision problems for children? The following factors could place an infant or child at risk according to AOA:

-Prematurity, low birth weight, oxygen at birth
-Family history of eye disease
-Difficult labor, fetal distress or low Apgar scores
-High refractive error
-Strabismus- misalignment of the eyes
-Anisometropia- each eye can be near-sighted, far-sighted, or a combo of both
-Known or suspected central nervous system dysfunction with developmental delay, palsy, seizures, etc…

For risk-free adults ages 18-60, exams are suggested every two years then annually 61 and older. For adults deemed at risk, exams are suggested every one to two years from 18-60, then annually or as recommended.
Adults at risk include those with:

-diabetes, hypertension, or a family history of eye disease
-jobs that are visually strenuous or eye hazardous
-prescription drugs that may have ocular side effects
-contact lenses wearers
-who have had an eye surgery
-who have other eye or health issues or concerns

DiStefano Regional Eye Centers offer state-of-the-art ophthalmology services in Chattanooga, Cleveland and East Tennessee cities starting with a comprehensive eye exam.

For an appointment, call DiStefano Eye Center at (423) 648-3937