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How often do I need an eye exam?

Healthy adults should have routine eye exams annually to ensure healthy eyes that last a lifetime. Remember that vision and eye health are unrelated, so even if your eyesight has not changed, this does not necessarily mean that your eyes are healthy. Observation of changes over time are the best way to monitor and prevent serious eye disease as you get older. With modern diagnostic technology, we have the ability to diagnose eye diseases such as glaucoma and macular degeneration up to 10 years earlier than in the past.

In addition, our modern lifestyles involving long hours staring at screens can lead to digital eye strain and dry eye disease. All adults will be screened for this and other preventable diseases in order to prevent issues down the road. Your doctor will also talk to you about lifestyle and nutrition considerations to reduce the risk of eye disease. If you wear contact lenses, it is important to have your eye health assessed and discuss newer technology lenses that may be better suited for your changing vision and lifestyle needs.

We now see greater incidence of eye problems caused by digital eye strain from staring at screens much longer than we ever did before. Regular exams allow us to prevent, follow and treat many of these problems before it’s too late. Some of these include:

  • Meibomian gland dysfunction – this occurs when the glands that secrete the protective oily layer of our tears start to fail. Reduced blinking causes the oils in these glands to become stagnant and hard. Without the protective oils there is more friction upon blinking and increased tear evaporation, leading to dry, red and irritated eyes. Stagnated glands die over time, eventually leading to chronic dryness that can damage the delicate tissues of the eye and become very difficult to treat. When discovered and treated early, gland function can be improved, preventing long term structural damage and making for more comfortable, clear and consistent vision all day.
  • Contact Lens intolerance – reduced blink rates on the computer mean contact lenses dry out more quickly. Every year there are better materials being developed to address this problem. We can try these new lenses with you as they become available, and talk to you about treatments and strategies to reduce dry eye at home and at work.
  • Accommodative fatigue – when the eye muscles are trying to focus on a fixed near working distance all day long, they become tired. This leads to fluctuating vision, tired eyes, and blurry vision for hours afterwards. We can measure this at your exam and prescribe new lenses designed to reduce this eye fatigue.

Over 65? We perform specialized eye health testing specific for age related eye diseases. Visit our Senior Eye Care page for more.