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When should you get a general eye check up? – Part 1

Any patient over the age of 55 should have an eye check up every one to three years, even if they have no symptoms of visual problems. Once you are over 65, you should have a general eye check up every one to two years. However, you should have your eyes checked more often if you have a family history of eye disease or if you have a medical illness that puts you at a higher risk of eye conditions such as diabetic maculopathy or hypertensive retinopathy.
In the 55 to 64-year-old age group, the highest risks are of early ageing macular degeneration, glaucoma, early cataract, diabetic or hypertensive retinopathy.

Three main types of eye specialists

Many types of eye specialists can perform an eye examination, and these include ophthalmologists, optometrists and opticians.

  • Opticians, in general, prescribe glasses or contact lenses and have limited competencies for doing an eye assessment.
  • Optometrists may often provide similar services to ophthalmologists evaluating your vision and diagnosing common eye disorders and then referring you on for medical management by your ophthalmologist.
  • Ophthalmologists are the medical doctors who will do a general eye examination. They will do a complete eye examination including the visual acuity for distance and near, eye pressure, examining the optical media of the eye to make sure there is no cataract and examining the macula and retina to ensure there is no maculopathy or retinopathy.


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