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Do I Need Glasses?

Q: I couldn't see the class board in my school because I sat all the way in the back of the room, but some of my friend do see the board. Do I need glasses??

Dr. Donnica:
Given this limited information, I canít tell you whether you need eyeglasses, although I can tell you that you need a vision exam. This can be done by an optometrist or an ophthalomologist. How often? According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), healthy children should have their eyes examined when they enter school and then every two years until age 18. Children who currently wear eyeglasses or contact lenses should have annual eye exams. For adults who wear contact lenses, the AOA recommends a comprehensive eye exam annually. Otherwise, healthy adults should have eye exams every two years until age 60, and then annually for those 61 and older. Adults considered "at risk" should have more frequent exams. Risk factors for eye diseases in adults include:

  • A family history of eye disease (glaucoma, macular degeneration, etc.)
  • Diabetes or high blood pressure
  • A visually demanding occupation or one that may pose hazards to the eyes
  • Taking prescription or non-prescription drugs that may have visual or eye-related side effects
  • Previous eye injuries or eye surgery
  • Of note: evidence-based research from the National Commission on Vision & Health (August 12, 2009) shows that universal comprehensive eye exams would help more children succeed in school.

    Created: 1/22/2010  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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