July 25, 2024
ophthalmic examination

Ophthalmic Examination 101

A standard ophthalmic examination is a complete series of tests conducted by an optometrist or ophthalmologist. Both are doctors specializing in eye health. They use the tests to check not just your vision but also your eyes’ health in general.

Standard ophthalmic exams are also called routine eye exams or comprehensive eye exams. 

How Often Should You Get an Ophthalmic Examination?

Your eyes’ health and your age are the top determining factors for the frequency of undergoing an eye exam. Experts say children should get their first basic eye exam right after birth. 

Getting a child’s vision screened is also recommended at the following stages:

  • once between 6 months old and 12 months old 
  • once between 12 months and 3 years old
  • once between 3 years old and 5 years old 
  • every 1 to 2 years after the age of 5

The above screenings help doctors identify if there is a need for further exams. 

ophthalmic examination a child
Your child’s eyes may have an ophthalmic examination soon after they start school. This is called vision screening, which checks for reduced vision in one or both eyes.

Meanwhile, the following stages are recommended for adults with good vision who don’t experience any eye concerns to get ophthalmic exams.

  • once between 20 and 29 years old 
  • twice between 30 and 39 years old 
  • at the age of 40
  • as recommended by the doctor after 40 years old and before the age of 65
  • every 1 to 2 years, starting at the age of 65

Adults experiencing problems with their vision or eyes should visit an eye doctor at least once yearly, except if the doctor suggests otherwise. 

Understanding What the Eye Doctor is Doing

Adults who need an ophthalmic examination every year because of a higher risk for vision and eye problems include the following:

  • those who have a family or personal history of eye disease 
  • those who have had an eye injury or eye surgery
  • those whose jobs are dangerous to the eyes, such as welders
  • those who take medications with side effects that affect the eyes
  • those who wear contact lenses 

An examination every 1 to 2 years is recommended for people who have undergone refractive surgery. If you’re suffering from an eye disease, discuss the recommended frequency of exams with your doctor.

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