When should my child’s eyes be examined?
Most physicians test vision as part of a child’s medical examination. They may refer a child to an ophthalmologist (a medical eye doctor) if there is any sign of an eye condition. The American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend the first vision screening occur in the hospital as part of a newborn baby’s discharge examination. Visual function (including ocular alignment, etc.) also should be checked by the pediatrician or family physician during routine well-child exams (typically at two, four and six months of age). Later amblyopia and alignment screenings should take place at three years of age and then yearly after school age.
If you suspect your child suffers from decreased vision – amblyopia (poor vision in an otherwise normal appearing eye), refractive error (nearsightedness or farsightedness) or strabismus (misalignment of the eye in any direction) – or if there are hereditary factors that might predispose your child to eye disease, please make an appointment with an ophthalmologist as soon as possible. New techniques make it possible to test vision in infants and young children. If there is a family history of misaligned eyes, childhood cataracts or a serious eye disease, an ophthalmologist can begin checking your child’s vision at a very early age.
When should an adult’s eyes be examined?
Adult examinations of the eyes should be performed on a regular basis.
- Young adults (ages 20 – 39) should have their eyes examined every three-five years.
- Adults ages (ages 40 – 64) should have their eyes examined every two-four years.
- Seniors (over 65 years of age) should have their eyes examined every one-two years.
High risk adults include:
- People with diabetes
- People with glaucoma or strong family history of glaucoma
- People with AIDS/HIV
Is pink-eye contagious?
Yes, viral conjunctivitis (pink-eye) is very common and is extremely contagious. Avoid touching eyes with your hands, wash hands frequently, do not share towels, and avoid work, school or daycare activities for a least five days or as long as discharge is present.