I’m African American: does eye care change as you age?

Monitoring the health of your eyes is just as important as monitoring other aspects of your health, regardless of your ethnicity. So an eye doctor may be asked, ‘I’m African American: does eye care change as you age.’  What’s the answer? Eye care matters at every age, but it gets more intense if you are at risk for eye disease.

Eye doctors generally recommend that you get your eyes checked every 2 years, but for people who are at risk, or have an existing eye disorder, this should be done annually.

Eye Care in Children
Eye care in children should begin by the age of 6 months, and this should be followed up by another visit when the child is about to start school. Thereafter checks can be made every 2 years, as long as there are no worrying symptoms such as squinting, sensitivity to light, or watery eyes.

Eye Care in Adults
A visit to the eye doctor every 2 years is fine for people without vision problems. However, most adults notice subtle changes in vision by the age of 40.  Some are affected by presbyopia, a condition marked by difficulty reading fine print, as well as blurry vision when doing near tasks such as sewing, or working at the computer.

There is a high rate of glaucoma and other eye problems amongst the African American population, so they should get a comprehensive dilated eye exam at the age of 40. This type of exam allows the eye doctor to see through to the back of the eyes, and identify any sign of eye disease or eye damage.

If you are interested in learning more about eye care, contact the New View Eye Center, Reston, VA. Please call 703-834-9777 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Jacqueline Griffiths.

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