The changes to our eye health from year to year are often sometimes so gradual that it’s sometimes difficult to realize there have been changes. Perhaps you’re squinting a bit more than you did last year at this time, or perhaps you’re seeing halos around lights at night, or perhaps you’ve noticed the kids have moved a few feet closer to the TV or their computer screens than normal over the last few months. All those signs, as subtle as they might be, are surefire indicators that your eyes—or the eyes or your loved ones—are changing.
For the Very Young
While it’s difficult to gauge the visual skills of the very young because the youngest among us can’t tell us when they can’t see well and have no frame of reference for what “normal” vision entails. Nevertheless, the American Optometric Association recommends eye exams with a qualified eye care professional as early as 6 months and again at age three. If there are issues, working together with your pediatrician and eye care professionals will catch them early.
Ages 6 to 18
According to the American Optometric Association children who are having difficulty seeing often will avoid reading and other near visual work as much as possible or, if they do the work anyway, will have a lowered level of comprehension, efficiency, or complain of discomfort or fatigue, or exhibit a short attention span. They may rub or blink their eye frequently, covering their eyes, tilting their heads to one side, or easily lose their place when reading.
Between the ages of 6 and 18, the American Optometric Association recommends your child receive an eye examination every year, or more frequently if specific problems or risk factors exist, or if recommended by your eye doctor.
Ages 19 to 40
If you’ve made it to adulthood with good vision, there’s even more good news: most adults between the ages of 19 and 40 enjoy healthy eyes and good vision. The most common issues affecting your vision that you’re likely to experience are eye fatigue and eye injury.
Simple things such as adjusting your computer in your workspace, using proper lighting, protecting your eyes from the sun, and ensuring eye safety at work, home or play can go a long way to maintaining good vision through your 20s and 30s.
Of course, you’ll still want to get periodic eye exams (every one to two years or as recommended), especially if you develop other health issues—such as diabetes or high blood pressure—or symptoms of visual decline.
Ages 41 to 60+
If you’ve made it to your 40s glasses- and contacts-free, congratulations—but beware. This is the time most adults start to experience problems with their vision, especially with reading or working with computers. This is also the time of life when other health issues start to make their presence known. If you’re 40 or over and have the following health issues you may be particularly at risk for developing eye and vision problems:
- Chronic, systemic conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
- A family history of glaucoma or macular degeneration.
- Health conditions related to high cholesterol, thyroid, anxiety or depression, and arthritis for which you take medications. Many medications, even antihistamines, have vision side effects.
Our eyes and our bodies change over time. Just as you might take more time to climb the stairs or walk that extra mile, your may begin to see a gradual decline in visual acuity such as the need for more light, difficulty reading and doing close work, problems with glare and perceiving colors, and dry, irritated eyes.
The National Eye Institute recommends that everyone age 50 or older visit an eye care professional for a comprehensive dilated eye exam. A dilated exam can detect eye diseases in their early stages before vision loss occurs, which is critical to saving your sight for the long run. As you age, many eye diseases have little or no warning other than the slow weakening of your vision:
- Age-related Macular Degeneration
- Diabetic Eye Disease
The American Optometric Association recommends eye exams for adults up to age 60 are every one to two years as recommended by your eye care professional, and then annually after 60 as recommended by your eye professional.
Optometrists are a Key Part of Your Sunglass& Optical Team
For more than 30 years, the team of eye care specialists at Sunglass and Optical Warehouse has been entrusted by individuals and families in greater San Diego to take care of their vision health. It’s not a responsibility we take lightly. Some of the key members of our eye care team include Sunglass and Optical’s team of skilled Optometrists, like Dr. Michael Matthews & Dr. Sean Kuhn, both long-time area optometrists.
We’re proud to offer the largest selection of prescription glasses and sunglasses in the San Diego Area, and we’re also proud of the skilled team of optometrists and other eye care professionals who help us prescribe, dispense, and fit prescription eyeglasses and prescription sunglasses that not only look good on your face, but keep you seeing well.