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Taking care of your eyes is important even as a teen and young adult.  As you reach adulthood, your vision will face increasing demand in school and in other activities, especially due to the increased exposure to screens like cell phones and tablets.  Use the following guidelines to make sure you’re doing what you can to maintain good vision.

  • Under 18 Years of Age
    • If you are already wearing glasses or contact lenses, eye exams are recommended every year. A change in prescription for your glasses or contact lenses happens less often as you get into your 20’s—that is, the vision tends to “stabilize” more in your 20’s than in your teens.
    • If you’ve had an eye surgery in childhood or adolescence —strabismus/eye muscle surgery, congenital cataract surgery, congenital glaucoma surgery—regular visits to an ophthalmologist is recommended for guaranteed continuity of care.
    • If you have diabetes, you must get your eyes examined at least once a year. Juvenile/insulin dependent diabetics are at the highest risk of developing diabetic retinopathy and vision damage. The vision provider or eye specialist will determine the frequency of examinations based on the retinal findings.
  • Over 18 Years of Age
    • Adults over 18 years of age are encouraged to get a routine eye examination at least every 5 years—to begin monitoring for “adult” eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, dry eye syndrome, and retinal diseases. Anyone with any eye disease (such as glaucoma) in their family is also encouraged to get a “baseline” eye examination.
    • Contact lens wearers need to transition to an adult vision provider – to make sure that the contact lens fit remains accurate as your eyes continue to grow and change. This is also to make sure that “healthy” contact lens wear is encouraged, and routine replacement of lenses is continued.

Your eyes change as you get older, but your vision may not be fully mature during your teen and early adult years. While you might start thinking or hearing about ‘Vision Correction Surgery”—i.e., LASIK, your eyes may not be ready for it.  This is largely because of the nature of the surgery and how it reshapes your cornea. While vision correction surgery is not recommended before the age of 22, contact lenses and fashionable glasses serve as great alternatives. 

Aside from your annual exams, visit an eye specialist if anything seems concerning with your eyes.  This include injuries, burning sensations, consistently red eyes, changes in vision or complete vision loss.

What questions do I ask?

  • Can you go over the eye examination with me and tell me what these results mean?
  • Am I at risk for developing an eye disease?
  • How should I best monitor my eye health?
  • (If your results show vision loss) Will my vision loss get worse? How much of my vision will I lose?
  • How often should I get my eyes checked to make sure they are not getting worse?

How can I learn more?

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