How Often Should You See An Ophthalmologist?

How Often Should You See An Ophthalmologist? 65bba1cf18cd4.jpeg

How Often Should You See An Ophthalmologist?

Are you someone who keeps up on your regular doctor visits? Or, do you tend to put them off? What about visits to see an eye doctor?

Your eye health is a key component of your overall health. Vision problems can be upsetting and life-altering, so taking steps to take care of your eyes and protect your vision is key. You don’t want to put off essential eye care or go too long between visits.

But, how often do you need to see an ophthalmologist? And, what does an ophthalmologist actually do?

Learn answers to these questions and more in this guide from Milwaukee Eye Surgeons.

Is An Ophthalmologist a Medical Doctor?

Yes, an ophthalmologist is a medical doctor. This means that they complete medical school, finish residency, and must pass licensing and certification to practice. Ophthalmologists are a specialist who trains specifically in eye health and eye diseases. They can also perform eye surgery.

Because ophthalmologists receive a high amount of training, they can diagnose and treat a variety of eye disease and vision issues.

Are Optometrists And Ophthalmologists The Same?

No. Optometrists and ophthalmologists are both eye care specialists, but optometrists aren’t medical doctors. However, there is a great deal of overlap between what these professionals do.

Optometrists also go to college to train in eye care. As such, they can also perform eye exams, diagnose eye problems, and treat vision issues.

However, ophthalmologists can do things that optometrists can’t, like treat many more complex conditions and provide eye surgery.

Should I See An Optometrist Or Ophthalmologist For An Eye Exam?

You can see either an ophthalmologist or an optometrist for an eye exam. However, keep in mind that optometrists don’t receive as much training as ophthalmologists. If you have certain eye diseases or need surgery, they will need to refer you to an eye doctor.

So, it is often easier to see an ophthalmologist or go to an ophthalmologist for eye health concerns and eye exams. They can provide the same essential treatment and assessments as an optometrist, but they can also more easily diagnose and treat issues like macular degeneration and glaucoma.

How Often Do You Need To See An Eye Doctor?

The answer to this question varies on many factors. Mainly, you need more frequent eye exams as you reach older adulthood. However, people with an underlying eye disease or a family history of certain eye problems should get more frequent eye exams.

Below, we cover how often you should get an eye exam depending on your age and other risk factors.

When Children Should Get An Eye Exam

The eye exam recommendations for children are a bit complicated, so let’s break them down further:

  • Birth to 2 years old: Children should get an eye exam around 6 months old and should have had at least one comprehensive eye exam by their second birthday.
  • 3 years old: Then, children should see the eye doctor again when they are about 2 years old.
  • 4-6 years old: Next, you should take your child to the eye doctor again before they start kindergarten.

Once children reach school age, they only need an eye exam every two years if they don’t have any vision problems. However, they should get an annual visit if they have contact lenses or glasses.

When Adults Should Get Eye Exams

Starting at around 20 years old, you’ll want to see an eye doctor every five years. However, if you wear contact lenses or eyeglasses, you may want more frequent visits especially if you notice your vision has changed.

For adults over 40, a visit to the eye doctor is recommended every two to four years. Those with good overall eye health and no family history of an eye disease can wait longer in-between visits.

When Seniors Should Get An Eye Exam

The older adults get, the more often they should visit the eye doctor.

From ages 55-64, it’s important to see an eye doctor every two years at least. For adults ages 65 and older, it’s vital to get an eye exam once per year.

As you get older, you’re more likely to develop eye disease and need frequent prescription changes for contact lenses or glasses.

Other Situations That Warrant Eye ExamsWhat Happens During A Comprehensive Eye Exam?

While the age guidelines are a good place tos start, there are some other factors that determine how often you should see an eye doctor. These situations warrant more frequent visits to assess your eye health:

  • Have certain chronic conditions like diabetes that increase your risk of eye diseases
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Wear glasses or contacts
  • Have a medical history of eye health issues

The best way to know how often to see an eye doctor is to set up a consultation. During this appointment, your eye doctor can assess your vision and overall eye health.

Request An Appointment With An Ophthalmologist

If you haven’t seen an eye doctor in a while, it never hurts to set up an appointment. Eye exams are essential preventive health measures.

When you visit Milwaukee Eye Surgeons for an eye exam, Dr. Weinlander will assess your medical history, eyesight, and more during a comprehensive eye exam. He will also check for potential eye disease issues, even if they are in the early stages.

Call or message today to get started with an appointment at your convenience! 

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