Preventive Eye Care for Children
Having scheduled eye examinations throughout life is probably the most important thing a person can do to preserve his or her vision.
The recommended eye examination schedule of the American Academy of Ophthalmology is:
- Newborns: Examination for general eye health – by a pediatrician or family doctor
- 3 year olds: Screening for visual acuity (sharpness) – by a pediatrician, family doctor, or eye specialist (ophthalmologist)
- 5 year olds: Pre-school examination for vision and eye movement
- Between the ages 6 to 39 years of age: One initial complete eye examination. Then, examinations should be done if there are: – eye problems – changes in vision, or – injury
- Age 40: A baseline or initial complete examination by an ophthalmologist
- Between ages 41 to 65 years of age: Eye examination by an ophthalmologist every 2 to 4 years
- Over 65 years of age: Eye examination by an ophthalmologist every 1 to 2 years
People who have a higher risk for eye disease because of one of the conditions below should have eye examination more often.
Risk Factors Requiring More Frequent Eye Examinations
- Low birth weight infants
- Infants of mothers who had one of the following conditions during pregnancy:
– rubella (German measles) – a sexually transmitted disease – a history of substance abuse -other medical problems
- severe nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism
- family history of diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), or glaucoma
- being african-American/Black or Native American, because both groups have a higher incidence of glaucoma.