Get all the information you need on when you should see an eye doctor.

doctor speaking with patient

The eyes are two of the most sacred organs in the entire body. They not only give us the miracle of sight, but they’re often one of the first things a person notices about you. Just think about how different society would be today if we didn’t have the beautiful gift of vision.

With that being said, the eyes are far from perfect and not everyone is born with 20/20 vision. Even those born with 20/20 vision are subject to experience changes in their vision as they grow older – it’s a normal part of the aging process. At some point, the eyes start to deteriorate.

Although most eye diseases and conditions aren’t curable, a majority of them are treatable – especially if they’re detected and diagnosed in the early stages. That’s why so many people stress the importance of scheduling a regular appointment with your local ophthalmologist.

So, how often should you go to the eye doctor?

The short answer to this question is once per year, but there’s a longer answer that gets a little more complex. If you’re interested in preventing eye disease and detecting eye conditions in their early stages, then scheduling an annual eye exam with your doctor is the best way.

For children, it’s recommended that you schedule their first eye exam before they hit the one-year mark. Their second eye exam should come between the ages of three and five years old. As they enter school, make sure they get an annual eye exam up until they graduate.

For adults, the need for an annual eye exam increases as you age. Adults aged 20-39 can get away with an eye exam every three years, adults aged 40-59 should schedule an exam every two years, and anyone above the age of 60 years old should get an annual checkup, at least.

Again, we recommend scheduling an annual eye exam every year, regardless of your age. Since changes to your vision can happen in the blink of an eye, it’s best to take the safe route. At the end of the day, you should always follow the advice of your personal ophthalmologist.

Early Warning Signs & Symptoms of Vision Problems

Although an annual eye exam is necessary for prevention and early intervention of eye disease, there are a variety of reasons why you might go to the eye doctor sooner than that. This is the case for anyone experiencing troubling or unwanted symptoms that impact your quality of life. 

Let’s take a look at some of the most prominent symptoms and early warning signs that you might be experiencing eye issues:
Dry, itchy, watery, or red eyes

  • Eye pain, eye strain, or eye injury
  • Noticing flashes, floaters, or dark spots in your field of vision
  • Noticing circles or halos around lights
  • Blurred vision from near, distant, or both
  • Needing to squint to see clearly
  • Any other changes in your vision

If you notice any of these symptoms, don’t hesitate to schedule a visit with your trusted ophthalmologist. It doesn’t always mean something’s wrong with the eyes, but it’s best to confirm that as early as possible. In the event something is wrong, you can find treatment.


woman taking eye exam

What’s Included In an Annual Comprehensive Eye Exam?

A comprehensive eye exam goes a long way in detecting, diagnosing, and monitoring vision health. When you schedule an annual exam with your eye doctor, this is the type of exam they’re going to perform. As the name suggests, it’s comprehensive and covers a lot of ground.

Let’s take a look at some of the most prominent tests included in comprehensive eye exams:

  • Patient and family history of eye disease and other health conditions 
  • Visual acuity test (standard eye chart)
  • Test for refractive errors in the eye
  • Retinoscopy to determine prescription if you wear glasses or contacts (contact lenses)
  • Visual fields test to check blind spots and peripheral vision
  • Cover test to identify strabismus and binocular vision issues
  • Slit lamp test to detect certain eye diseases
  • Dilated pupil test to examine eye health
  • Glaucoma test to measure eye pressure

A comprehensive eye exam takes a look at your eye health from every angle. When done regularly, your eye doctor will have all the information necessary to maintain your eye’s overall health and wellness long-term. This doctor-patient relationship is important, especially as you age.

How to Find the Right Eye Doctor for You & Your Family

Much like any other physician or doctor, your ophthalmologist is going to play a major role in your life. It’s important that you trust and respect your eye doctor, that way you feel more comfortable during your visits. The right eye doctor is out there, you just have to find them!

Here are some of our most prominent tips on finding the right eye doctor for you and your family:

  • Ask friends, family members, and other people you trust for recommendations
  • Always read reviews and testimonials from previous patients
  • Make sure they accept your insurance or can help with those that don’t have insurance
  • The ambience and atmosphere they provide should be top-notch
  • Make sure you connect with the staff members and that they provide excellent customer service
  • Using advanced technology goes a long way in providing the best care for each patient
  • Double check the eye doctor’s certifications, licenses, experience, and education
  • It’s always a plus if your eye doctor is readily available, or at least as readily available as possible
  • Do your research, but also listen to your gut feeling

It doesn’t matter what age you are, your eye health is extremely important and the right eye doctor can give you the tools and guidance needed when preserving your vision for as long as possible. Just make sure you’re scheduling that eye exam – one visit per year goes a long way!

coastal eye surgeons front desk

Contact Coastal Eye Surgeons Today!

At Coastal Eye Surgeons, we’re dedicated to providing best-in-class eyecare services to the Greenwich community – as well as surrounding communities. Dr. Omar Shakir and his staff go above and beyond to provide a boutique and modern environment for all their patients.

If you’re looking for a new eye doctor and would like to schedule an eye exam with an ophthalmologist that your community knows and trusts, then
contact Dr. Omar Shakir at Coastal Eye Surgeons today. We can’t wait to welcome you and your family into our office!

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