Written by Khalil Al-Salem M.D
Regular eye check up and thorough eye exam is readily available at Alsalem eye clinic. The clinic is fully equipped with the state of the art machines. Doctors checking your eye at Alsalem eye clinic have experience in eye care approaching 20 years or more.
Caring For Your Eyes
Eyecare has various recommendations based on age, family and personal medical history, whether you currently wear glasses or contacts, and other risk factors. An ophthalmologist starts thinking of a common disease, which will guide him to screen the patient for any potential illness. Eye check-up is currently recommended at the extremes of age. Children are at risk of amblyopia, refractive errors, and other congenital diseases. On the other hand, adults are more likely to be affected by organic diseases like cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal diseases.
Eye check-up, age six months to 20 years
Checking the eyes of your baby at or before the age of six months carries a lot of benefits. It is essential to make sure that the vision is free of congenital diseases like cataracts or glaucoma. It is a good idea to have your child’s eyes tested again before it enters kindergarten or first grade. After that, it is up to you!
At Alsalem eye clinic, we recommend having children’s eyes checked every two years unless you notice potential eye strain signs. If your child wears glasses, she’ll need an eye exam every six months to a year to verify the prescription is still accurate. checking children at this particular age is very important as visual acuity loss might be permanent
Signs of eye strain or vision loss in children include:
- Frequent blinking or rubbing of the eyes might be due to Allergy or refractive error. It is crucial to keep in mind that children do not complain as they try to adjust to their capabilities.
- Winking one eye for better focus; this sign is due to the inability to see distant objects.
- Some congenital squint disorders or refractive errors can cause tilting or the head’s tip to the side.
- Holding reading materials close-up or far away from the face is a screaming sign of poor vision that needs medical attention as early as possible.
- Double vision is a rare sign in children as this might happen after head trauma or falling. But never in young children.
- An eye that strays to one side or the other, in other words, eye deviation.
- Teacher complain of poor child attention or inability to see far objects.
Other risk factors indicate a child should have an eye check-up more frequently throughout childhood. These include; premature birth or low–birth–weight, family history of eye disease, crossed eyes, infection of the mother during pregnancy, and a history of frequent physical illness or disorders.
In most cases, your child’s pediatrician will let you know if more frequent eye exams are recommended. Always provide a complete family and medical history to your ophthalmologist so he can adequately assess your child’s recommended eye exam schedule.
Eye check-up, Age 20 to 39
Most adults age 20 to 39 should have a complete eye exam every two to three years. At this point in your life, you are less likely to experience sudden or more rapid vision loss. You should have your eyes checked more often if you wear glasses or contacts, take medications that are known to cause vision loss or visually-related side effects, have a family history of eye disease, have diabetes or high blood pressure, experienced previous eye surgery, or eye injury.
Eye Check up, Age 40 to 64
The eyes go through continuous changes between the ages of 40 and 64. Besides diminishing vision and increasing lens prescription changes, the eye’s lens slowly begins to harden from about age 35. This impacts near vision and is the reason most adults 45 years and over need reading glasses. This age-related far-sightedness is called presbyopia. Adults between the ages of 40 and 64 are also more prone to developing health conditions that contribute to vision loss, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or side effects related to prescription medications.
Eye care at the age of 65 and beyond
Once you reach age 65, we recommend having a complete eye exam every year. In addition to progressing presbyopia, seniors are more likely to develop cataracts or vision-related issues due to health conditions.
Risk factors particular to seniors include:
- A family history of glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, and other eye conditions/diseases
- Previous history of eye trauma or surgery
- The onset of health conditions known to affect vision, such as diabetes, heart disease, etc.
What Is A Complete Eye Exam?
You may have noticed we’ve used the term “complete eye exam” throughout this post. A complete eye exam is different from the cursory vision test, where you stand or sit behind a line and read off varying-sized letters from an eye chart (called a Snellen Eye Chart). A complete or comprehensive eye exam is thorough, requiring about 30 min to complete. The eye exam includes:
Review of your eye exam and medical history
Your family and personal medical histories are clues to the types of vision issues you may experience over time. Your lifestyle also matters, so we’ll keep our records up to date and note any potential risk factors we’ll want to look out for overtime.
We’ll put you 20-feet in front of the standard Snellen Eye Chart to read off the letters, numbers, or symbols. First, you’ll read them with one eye covered, then the other eye, and then with both eyes.
Refraction and other Eye check up tests
If you don’t have 20/20 vision, we’ll continue to look for your “refractive error.” This error is due to nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, or another eye condition affecting vision.
Then, we use other diagnostic tools such as retinoscopes, autorefractors, and phoropters. These provide a prescription to create lenses (eyeglasses) and correct the error. The goal is to give you as close to 20/20 vision and adequate eye care.
Eye focusing and teaming tests
At Alsalem eye clinic we look at how eyes focus and how they work together as a team. Various eye care tests are done to determine weather the eyes are straight to deviated. Examples are cover, uncover test, and duction test.
Eye care tests to determine eye health
Finally, we want to get a good look at your eyes’ anatomy, and we use multiple tools to do that. They include:
- Slit-lamp test. We look at the eye’s external and internal parts in detail, specifically looking for signs of healthy aging or indicators of eye issues, such as conjunctivitis, cataracts, macular degeneration, or retinal detachment.
- Tonometry. This tests for glaucoma by testing the pressure inside your eye. Glaucoma causes blindness, so early detection is critical.
- Pupil dilation. We’ll dilate your pupils to get a better look at the back of your internal eyeball. This allows more light to enter your eye, so bring a pair of sunglasses with you to wear for a few hours until your eyes return to normal dilation.
Don’t Put Off Your Eye Exam.
Are you or your family overdue for a comprehensive eye exam? Contact Alsalem eye clinic to schedule an appointment.