When Should You Have an Eye Exam?
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that every healthy person have a baseline eye exam by age 40. An ophthalmologic evaluation can uncover abnormalities of the visual system and reveal signs of systemic disease such as high blood pressure and diabetes. This age is a time when eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataract or retinal conditions may be identifiable in their early form and treatment can have a tremendous impact.
Age 40 is also about the age when people develop presbyopia, a normal aging process where the natural lens of the eye starts to lose its ability to focus, creating the need to use magnifying glasses or bifocals to read. Patients with known diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes should have regular eye exams at the time of diagnosis to search for signs of disease in the eye. The eye doctor would then determine appropriate intervals of follow-up care.
Other diseases such as autoimmune disease (lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, sarcoidosis, etc.), thyroid disease, sleep apnea, blood disorders and neurological conditions can also affect the eyes. People with a strong family history of eye diseases or blindness should call their eye doctor today to set up an evaluation.
Guest Blogger: Dr. Roslyn Stahl, M.D. Glaucoma & Cataract Specialist