Recommended Eye Examination Frequency for Pediatric Patients and Adults

Recommended Examination Frequency For the Pediatric Patient


Patient Age


Examination Interval

 
Asymptomatic/Low Risk
At Risk
Birth to 2 years At 6 to 12 months of age At 6 to 12 months of age or as recommended
3 through 5 years At least once between 3 and 5 years of age At least once between 3 and 5 years of age or as recommended
6 through 18 years Before first grade and annually thereafter Before first grade and annually, or as recommended thereafter


The extent to which a child is at risk for the development of eye and vision problems determines the appropriate re-evaluation schedule. Children with ocular signs and symptoms require a prompt, comprehensive examination. Furthermore, the presence of certain risk factors may necessitate more frequent examinations based on professional judgment. Factors placing an infant, toddler or child at significant risk for eye and vision problems include:

  • Prematurity, low birth weight, prolonged supplemental oxygen at birth
  • Family history of myopia, amblyopia, strabismus, retinoblastoma, congenital cataracts, metabolic or genetic disease
  • Infection of mother during pregnancy (e.g., rubella, toxoplasmosis, venereal disease, herpes, cytomegalovirus or human immunodeficiency virus)
  • Maternal smoking, use of alcohol or illicit drug use during pregnancy
  • Cortical visual impairment
  • Difficult or assisted labor, which may be associated with fetal distress
  • High or progressive refractive error
  • Strabismus
  • Anisometropia
  • Academic performance problems
  • Known or suspected neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Systemic health conditions with potential ocular manifestations
  • Wearing contact lenses
  • Having functional vision in only one eye
  • Eye surgery or previous eye injury
  • Taking prescription or nonprescription drugs (e.g., over the counter medications, supplements, herbal remedies) with potential ocular side effects

Recommended Examination Frequency For the Adult Patient


Patient Age (Years)


Examination Interval

 
Asymptomatic/Low-Risk
At Risk
18 through 39 At least every two years At least annually, or as recommended
40 through 64 At least every two years At least annually, or as recommended
65 and older Annually At least annually. or as recommended

Patients at risk include those:

  • A personal or family history of ocular disease
  • Belonging to certain racial and ethnic groups
  • Systemic health conditions with potential ocular manifestations
  • Occupations that are highly demanding visually or have a high potential of being hazardous to
    the eyes
  • Taking prescription or nonprescription drugswith ocular side effects
  • Having functional vision in only one eye
  • Wearing contact lenses
  • Eye surgery or previous eye injury
  • High or progressive refractive error
  • Other eye-related health concerns or conditions

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