Recommended Eye Examination Frequency for Pediatric Patients and Adults

Recommended Examination Frequency For the Pediatric Patient

Patient Age
Examination Interval
 
Asymptomatic/Risk Free
At Risk
Birth to 24 MonthsAt 6 months of ageBy 6 months of age or as recommended
2 to 5 yearsAt 3 years of ageAt 3 years of age or as recommended
6 to 18 yearsBefore first grade and every two years thereafterAnnually or as recommended


Children considered to be at risk for the development of eye and vision problems may need additional testing or more frequent re-evaluation. Factors placing an infant, toddler, or child at significant risk for visual impairment include:

  • Prematurity, low birth weight, oxygen at birth, grade III or IV intraventricular hemorrhage
  • Family history of retinoblastoma, congenital cataracts, or metabolic or genetic disease
  • Infection of mother during pregnancy (e.g., rubella, toxoplasmosis, venereal disease, herpes, cytomegalovirus, or AIDS)
  • Difficult or assisted labor, which may be associated with fetal distress or low Apgar scores
  • High refractive error
  • Strabismus
  • Anisometropia
  • Known or suspected central nervous system dysfunction evidenced by developmental delay, cerebral palsy, dysmorphic features, seizures, or hydrocephalus

Recommended Examination Frequency For the Adult Patient

Patient Age
Examination Interval
 
Asymptomatic/Risk Free
At Risk
18 to 60 yearsEvery two yearsEvery one to two years or as recommended
61 and olderAnnuallyAnnually or as recommended

Patients at risk include those:

  • with diabetes, hypertension, or a family history of ocular disease (e.g., glaucoma, macular degeneration)
  • working in occupations that are highly demanding visually or eye hazardous
  • taking prescription or nonprescription drugs with ocular side effects
  • wearing contact lenses
  • who have had eye surgery
  • with other health concerns or conditions.