Preventive Eye Care for Children

Children's Eye Health 

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:

  1. Newborns:  Examination for general eye health – by a pediatrician or family doctor
  2. 3 year olds Screening  for visual acuity (sharpness) – by a pediatrician, family doctor, or eye specialist (ophthalmologist)
  3. 5 year olds:  Pre-school examination for vision and eye movement
  4. 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
  • diabetes
  • 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.