Regular eye exams become more important as you reach your 40s and 50s. Not only do you need to adapt to the changes in your vision by updating your prescription for glasses or contact lenses, but you also want to be certain there’s no vision problem beginning to develop. Age 40 is the time when early signs of disease and changes in vision may start to occur. Many of the eye problems don’t have any symptoms until they’re quite advanced. According to leading eye doctors, you should have eye exams every year once you’ve reached 40. These exams carry more importance if you have high blood pressure, diabetes or a family history of eye disease.
What to expect at Your Eye Exam?
Every ophthalmologist has a routine, but most eye exams
follow a similar pattern. At first, your eye doctor will review your personal and family health history as you may be at special risk for eye problems if you have a family history of eye disease
, high blood pressure
, or poor vision
followed by certain tests including:
When to get an eye exam
- Vision: Your eye doctor will check for near-sightedness, far-sightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia. As you look at an eye chart, the doctor will measure your vision precisely, and, if necessary, determine a prescription for corrective lenses.
- Coordination of eye muscles: Your eye doctor will move a light in a set pattern to test your ability to see sharply and clearly at near and far distances, and to use both eyes together.
- Side vision: Your eye doctor will move an object at the edge of your field of vision to make sure you can see it.
- Pupil response to light: Your ophthalmologist will shine a light in your eye and watch the pupil’s reaction.
- Colour testing: Your ophthalmologist will ask you to describe figures in a series of illustrations made up of numerous coloured dots or circles. This tests your ability to differentiate colours.
- Eyelid health and function: Your eye specialist will examine your eyelid, inside and out.
- The interior and back of the eye: After dilating your eyes, your eye specialist will use a special instrument called an ophthalmoscope to see through to the retina and optic nerve at the back of the eye. This test is perfect to diagnose many eye related problems.
- Measurement of fluid pressure: Your eye specialist will release a puff of air onto your eye using an instrument called a tonometer. This tests the pressure inside the eye which is an early indicator of glaucoma.
is one of the most difficult questions to answer. Getting an eye exam
at 40 is important because age-related changes tend to start appearing around now.