The American Optometric Association recommends that adults aged 19 to 40 receive an eye exam at least every two years. If there is any family history of eye disease, diabetes, or past vision problems, your doctor of optometry may recommend more frequent exams. In between examinations, if you notice a change in your vision, contact your doctor. Detecting and treating problems early can help maintain good vision for the rest of your life.
Eyestrain is a common occurrence in today’s visually demanding world. A typical college schedule or office workday involves spending long hours reading, working at a desk, or staring at a computer.
See your doctor if you experience the following signs and symptoms of eyestrain:
- Sore or tired eyes
- Itching or burning sensations in the eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Dry or watery eyes
- Difficulty focusing
If you are over 40 years of age, you’ve probably noticed changes in your vision. Difficulty seeing clearly for reading and close work is among the most common problems adults develop between ages 41 to 60. However, this is also the time when other changes in your eyes can start to affect your work and enjoyment of life.
This loss of focusing ability for near vision, called presbyopia, is simply the result of the lens inside the eye becoming less flexible. This flexibility allows the eye to change focus from objects are far to objects that are close. Persons with presbyopia have several options available to regain clear near vision. They include:
- Eyeglasses, including single vision reading glasses and multifocal lenses
- Contact lenses, including monovision and bifocal lenses
- Laser surgery and other refractive surgery procedures
If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may have the early warning signs of a serious eye health problem:
- Fluctuating Vision
If you experience frequent changes in how clearly you can see, it may be a sign of diabetes or hypertension (high blood pressure).
- Seeing Floaters and Flashes
- Loss of Side Vision
- Seeing distorted images
Regular eye examinations and early diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases can help you continue to preserve good vision throughout life.
Infants and Children Eye Health
It is important to know that a vision screening by a child’s pediatrician or at his or her preschool is not the same as a comprehensive eye and vision examination by an optometrist. Vision screenings may miss as many as 60% of children with vision problems.
At birth, babies’ vision is abuzz with all kinds of visual stimulation. While they may look intently at a highly contrasted target, babies have not yet developed the ability to easily tell the difference between two targets or move their eyes between the two images. Their primary focus is on objects 8 to 10 inches from their face or the distance to parent’s face.
From ages 2 to 5, a child will be fine-tuning the visual abilities gained during infancy and developing new ones. Stacking building blocks, rolling a ball back and forth, coloring, drawing, cutting, or assembling lock-together toys all help improve important visual skills.This is also the time when parents need to be alert for the presence of vision problems like crossed eyes or lazy eye. These conditions often develop at this age. Crossed eyes or strabismus involves one or both eyes turning inward or outward. Amblyopia, commonly known as lazy eye, is a lack of clear vision in one eye, which can’t be fully corrected with eyeglasses. Lazy eye often develops as a result of crossed eyes, but may occur without noticeable signs.
Be sure to tell your optometrist if your child frequently:
- Loses their place while reading
- Avoids close work; Holds reading material closer than normal
- Tends to rub their eyes; Has headaches
- Turns or tilts head to use one eye only
- Makes frequent reversals when reading or writing
- Uses finger to maintain place when reading
- Omits or confuses small words when reading
- Consistently performs below potential
Referenced from the American Optometric Association