Regardless of your age or physical health, it's important to have regular eye exams.
During a complete eye exam, Dr. Gary V. Hathcoat will not only determine your prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses, but will also check your eyes for common eye diseases, assess how your eyes work together as a team and evaluate your eyes as an indicator of your overall health.
A comprehensive eye exam includes a number of tests and procedures to examine and evaluate the health of your eyes that determines the quality of your vision. These tests range from simple ones, like having you read an eye chart, to complex tests, such as using a high-powered lens to examine the health of the tissues inside of your eyes.
Dr. Hathcoat recommends you have a complete eye exam every one to two years, depending on your age, risk factors, medications and physical condition.
Concerning children, it is estimated that approximately 5% to 10% of pre-schoolers and 25% of school-aged children have vision problems. According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), all children should have their eyes examined at 6 months of age, at age 3 and again at the start of school. Children without vision problems or risk factors for eye or vision problems should still continue to have their eyes examined yearly throughout school. The eyes can change rapidly, eye injuries may occur and your child may not notice or may fail to inform you of injuries or changes, thinking all is O.K.. School is 75% reading and evaluation goes beyond successfully reading an eye chart. When is the last time your child was screened for 15 minutes of reading for continued ease in recognition and comprehension? Dr. Hathcoat will know what your child needs to ensure maximum visual educational success.
Note: Dr. Hathcoat's is very concerned with ADHD students. Many of them have been incorrectly diagnosed as not needing a vision correction, especially at near point. Dr. Hathcoat will correctly diagnose your child's visual needs, because he was that patient himself and did not get help until he was 12 years old!
Children with existing vision problems or risk factors should have their eyes examined yearly or more frequently. Common risk factors for vision problems include:
- premature birth
- developmental delays
- turned or crossed eyes
- family history of eye disease
- history of eye injury
- other physical illness or disease
The AOA recommends that children who wear eyeglasses or contact lenses should have their eyes examined at least every 12 months or according to their eye doctor's instructions. Read more about Pediatric Eye Exams.
Adults. The AOA also recommends an annual eye exam for any adult who wears eyeglasses or contacts. If you don't normally need vision correction, you still need an eye exam every two to three years up to the age of 40, depending on your health and medication. More frequent examinations for adults with diabetes, high blood pressure and other disorders are needed, because many diseases and medications can have an impact on vision and eye health.
If you are over 40 and not on any medications, you should have your eyes examined every one to two years to check for common age-related eye problems such as presbyopia, cataracts and macular degeneration. Read more about Vision After 40.
Because the risk of eye disease continues to increase with advancing age, everyone over the age of 60 should be examined annually. Read more about Vision After 60.