With more than 10 lakh people in India going blind due to preventable causes each year, no one should wait for their vision to start blurring before getting an eye checkup.
"The frequency of a complete eye check-up depends on the age and general health, but even if your vision is perfect, you should get an eye exam done by a qualified eye specialist every two to three years, especially after the age of 40," said Dr Mahipal S Sachdev, chairman and senior consultant, ophthalmology at the Centre for Sight.
A child's first eye examination should be done immediately after birth to detect structural and vision abnormalies. Doctors recommend a second examination after one year and another one at the start of school.
"Children should be examined before they start school to ensure undetected visual impairment does not affect academic performance and overall development," said Dr Sachdev.
"Most schools provide yearly eye check-ups to students, which is often when eyesight problems in children are first detected," said Dr JS Titiyal, professor, Rajendra Prasad Centre of Ophthalmology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
The next cut-off age is 40 years. "It is the age when diseases such as glaucoma that can cause vision loss by damaging the optic nerve, set in. Nearly 4% people lose vision each year due to the disease," said Dr Titiyal.
Diseases such as cataract, glaucoma and dry eye etc., are more likely to develop in the aging population. Therefore, people over 60 years should get an annual eye check-up done.
"Those who spend long hours on computer must also get their eyes checked regularly. We see a lot of cases suffering from computer vision syndrome where they have dry eyes. Those people should use lubricant eye drops five times in a day," said Dr Noshir Shroff, medical director, Shroff Eye Centre.
People on long-term medication such as chronic steroids, arthritis medication and medication for auto-immune diseases must take extra care and should visit an eye specialist possible every three months.