How often we need an eye check up?
Without eyes our world is blind. We need to maintain healthy vision for a lifetime. So we need a periodic eye check up. How frequently we should go for an eye check-up- Monthly, quarterly, half yearly or yearly? Most of the time doctors advised for yearly check ups. But few cases, doctors advised for every 3 months. A follow-up visit is always decided by a doctor or optometrist. Sometimes we get confused because of the frequent visit schedule. Why doctor or optometrist, call every three months for follow-up?
Why we need a periodic eye check up?
We all know that prevention is better than cure. The yearly eye examination is just for confirmation about your healthy eyes. Some people may think that they don’t need an eye check up because their vision is good. But few diseases like glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, peripheral retinal detachment or hole are asymptomatic in an initial stage. Especially glaucoma affected central vision at advanced stages. Some cases, dilated retina examination revealed the presence of uncontrolled diabetes or high blood pressure.
“Every person need yearly once eye checkup”
Children up to 7 yrs old – According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), every child should have an eye check up at the age 6 months. Yearly once eye check up is recommended but few cases it may differ. Special cases like amblyopia need frequent follow-up. If the child is under patching therapy, then 3 months follow-up needed. Because to see the effects of patching therapy and refractive error variation. Sometimes the good eye becomes amblyopic and this condition is called reverse amblyopia. Children need an eye checkup when they start going to school. Early diagnosis of amblyopia is very important. Responses to patching therapy are well before the age of 6 years and it’s not effective after the age of 7 years. Early eye check up is very much important to detect unilateral amblyopia.
Children more than 7 yrs old- Yearly check up. Six months follow-up required if frequent change glasses number. Especially in the case of Myopia and Astigmatism.
Adults: – We all need yearly once eye check up, but few cases of uncontrolled diabetes, high blood pressure, glaucoma, family history of macular degeneration etc need a frequent eye check up. Maybe every six months interval. After 40 years of age, presbyopia occurs. Presbyopia is a condition that people feel difficulty read the small letters at near (@40 cm distance). Feels blurred vision while reading and they need reading glasses.
Glaucoma: – Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damages to the optic nerve from high eye pressure and can result in vision loss. Vision lose from glaucoma is permanent. Untreated glaucoma leads to total blindness in a few years. Every six months need an eye check up for measuring Intra-ocular pressure (IOP) and progression of diseases. Visual field assessment (Perimetry) require once in a year.
Diabetes: – Diabetes can damage small blood vessels of the retina, which is called diabetic retinopathy. Early stage diabetic retinopathy may cause no symptoms or only mild vision problems. Eventually, it can cause blindness. Early detection and treatment of diabetic retinopathy can help to prevent vision loss. Uncontrolled diabetes has a higher risk of diabetic retinopathy. A person with diabetes needs detailed retina examination. They should go for yearly once eye check-up and twice in case of uncontrolled diabetes.
Are annual eye exams required after LASIK?
Yes, definitely we need an annual eye check up after Lasik surgery. Lasik is a refractive surgery to achieve the maximum vision (20/20) without glasses or contact lenses. Periodic eye examination, especially the dilated eye examination is important in every year because Lasik will not reduce the risk of glaucoma, macular degeneration, retinal hole or detachment. After Lasik, sometimes cornea become thin and develop Post-Lasik ectasia. So every year corneal topography to be performed for safety purpose.