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The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that adults with no signs or risk factors for eye disease get a baseline eye disease screening at age 40 – the time when early signs of certain eye disease may start to occur. Based on the results of the initial exam, an ophthalmologist will prescribe the necessary intervals for follow-up exams.
The Academy recommends regular eye exams for individuals at any age with symptoms of or at risk for eye disease, such as those with a family history of macular degeneration or glaucoma, or those with conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure. The frequency of these exams is determined by your ophthalmologist.
A thorough ophthalmologic evaluation can uncover common abnormalities of the visual system and related structures, as well as less common but extremely serious ones, such as ocular tumors. This evaluation can also uncover evidence of many forms of systemic disease that affect the eyes, like hypertension and diabetes. With appropriate intervention, potentially blinding diseases such as glaucoma, age-related degeneration and diabetic retinopathy often have a favorable outcome.
It’s a good idea to use a good pair of sunglasses that block 100% of UV-A and UV-B rays. By protecting your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays with sunglasses, you can reduce risks for some minor or serious eye problems. UV damage adds up over time, so the sooner you begin protecting your eyes, the better, even if you’re in your teens or early adult years.