Routine eye exams are crucial to maintaining healthy vision as you get older. Serious age-related eye problems such as glaucoma, diabetic eye disease, or macular degeneration have no obvious symptoms — most early signs of eye disease can be only detected during a comprehensive exam. Prompt diagnosis and treatment is essential to prevent vision loss in patients of all ages.
You receive a complete evaluation of your eyes during your exam at Eye Physicians of Long Beach. In addition to the standard assessments for nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, our staff of board-certified ophthalmologists will run a series of tests to check for the above-mentioned diseases, cataracts, corneal diseases, retinal detachment, and more.
Ready to schedule your eye exam? Contact us to make an appointment today!
When should I have an eye exam?
Factors such as your age, health, and medical history will determine how frequently you need an eye exam. Here are some general guidelines for specific age groups:
Children – Pediatricians and schools typically perform vision screenings on children before they enter first grade, but keep in mind, these exams are not as thorough as an eye exam performed by an eye doctor. An optometrist or ophthalmologist will check for signs of lazy eye, crossed eye, alignment issues, and a family history of eye problems, all of which determine exam frequency. In general, children with no visual impairments and no family history of eye problems should have an eye exam once every two years.
Adults – If you’re in your 20s or 30s, in good health and have no symptoms of eye problems, you should have your eyes checked every two to five years. Adults over age 40 should schedule exams every two to four years, as your risk for age-related eye diseases starts to increase. Adults age 65 and over should have an exam every one to two years. If you wear glasses or contacts, have a family history of eye disease or eye trauma, or have a chronic disease such as diabetes or hypertension, plan for more frequent eye exams.
Am I at risk for eye problems?
Some people are more at risk for eye problems than others. If any of these health conditions or lifestyle choices are a part of your medical history, it’s important to schedule eye exams at least once a year:
- High blood pressure
- Heavy alcohol use
- Previous eye trauma
- Family history of eye disease
What happens during an eye exam?
Special equipment will be used to evaluate the health of your eyes, from front to back. Your eyes will be checked for signs of refractive errors such as nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), astigmatism, and age-related nearsightedness (presbyopia). These refractive errors can be corrected with prescription glasses or contacts.
Your doctor may also use special eye drops to dilate, or widen, your pupils during your exam, which allows for a more thorough examination of your retina and optic nerve. Your side vision, eye movement and eye pressure levels will also be evaluated.
If your doctor finds abnormalities in your eye during your exam, they will carefully evaluate the test results to determine a diagnosis and treatment. Additional tests may be scheduled in order to confirm or rule out potential causes or to provide a more in-depth evaluation.
How do I prepare for an eye exam?
Note eye symptoms – If you’re experiencing eye pain, irritation, redness, swelling, or other symptoms, make a list to bring to your appointment, along with a list of any medications you’re taking. This will ensure your doctor has the information they need to diagnose your eye condition.
Document family history – Do any of your family members have glaucoma, cataracts, or diabetes? If so, make sure to tell your doctor, as you may be more at risk for developing these diseases. Underlying health issues such as hypertension, cancer, and even brain tumors can also be detected during a routine eye exam, so make note if these conditions run in your family.
Fill out forms in advance – You can save time at your appointment by filling out paperwork in advance. Patient forms for Eye Physicians of Long Beach are available online. Download, print, and bring the completed forms to your scheduled exam.