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The Importance of an Eye Exam by Age

Regular eye exams throughout your life are important, but not always for the same reasons. Just as our bodies require evolving care, so do our eyes. Find out why an eye exam at every life stage is an important part of your healthcare routine.

Too young, old, or healthy for an eye exam? Think again.

Who Should Get
an Eye Exam
Why Eye Exams are Important at this Age
When to Schedule
Your Eye Exam
Babies Approximately 80% of what a child learns is through their eyes. 1
Impaired vision can affect a child's cognitive, emotional, neurologic, and physical development by potentially limiting their exposure to a range of experiences and information. 2

  • Six months
  • Between two and three years old
  • Before kindergarten
Children Only an estimated 14% of children receive comprehensive eye exams before entering kindergarten or first grade. 3
More than 12.1 million school-age children, or one in four, have some form of a vision problem. 4
Studies show that 60% of students identified as problem learners have undetected vision troubles. 5

Once a year

TIP: Schedule around the beginning of the school year to give your child a healthy start.
Adults Even if you have had laser vision surgery or have naturally good vision, you still need an annual exam. More than 3 million Americans over the age of 40 have some form of vision impairment. 6
Nearly 90% of those who use a computer at least three hours a day suffer vision problems associated with computer eye strain. 7

Once a year

Seniors As we age, we're more susceptible to cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness among Americans age 65 and older. It affects 2 million Americans. 8
About half of the population has a cataract by age 65, and nearly everyone over 75 has at least one. 9
Glaucoma affects more than three million Americans, but only half are aware they have the disease because the symptoms are so subtle. 10

Once a year

with Diabetes
Diabetes is the third leading cause of blindness in the United States. And most diabetes-related blindness can be prevented by an annual eye exam.

Once a year

Lens Wearers
Contact lenses are medical devices, so regular exams with your eye doctor to review of your prescription are important.

Once a year

According to the National Eye Institute, more than 11 million Americans have an uncorrected visual impairment that can impact their quality of life. Don't let this happen to you or your family members. Schedule an appointment with your eye doctor and let your eyes speak for you.

VSP network doctors can help keep you and your eyes healthy. Schedule an eye exam now.

[1] Ottar WL, Scott WK, Holgado SI. Photoscreening for amblyogenic factors. J Pediatr Ophthalmology Strabismus. 1995;32:289-295.
[2] National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What is Vision Impairment? October 29, 2004. http:// www.The Centers for Disease
[3] Poe GS. Eye Care Visits and Use of Eyeglasses or Contact Lenses. United States 1979 and 1980. Hyattsville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services; 1984. Vital and Health Statistics Series 10, No. 145. DHHS publication 84-1573.
[4] Donahue SP, Johnson TM, Ottar W, Scott WE. Sensitivity of photoscreening to detect high-magnitude amblyogenic factors. J AAPOS. 2002;6:86-91.
[5] American Optometric Association
[6] Prevent Blindness America, 2002
[7] "Computer Vision Syndrome." American Optometric Association. Accessed on January 17, 2007 at: