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Eye Health Info for Those Under 40

January 11th, 2021. Posted by Dr. Shah

By the time we reach our early 20s, our eyes and our visual system are already fully developed. Most people find that their vision and eye health are stable by the time they reach 25 or 30 years of age, with the exception of women, who often find that their vision can change during pregnancy.

At this stage of life, it is important to create good eye health habits for healthy vision throughout life. For example, people with diabetes or pre-diabetes should have regular eye exams to make sure they are not developing diabetic eye disease. A big part of eye care among diabetics is managing their weight and blood sugar, as well as their blood pressure and cholesterol, with their doctors.

Preventing eye injuries at home

Eye injuries are a major cause of eye problems in young adults. Approximately three out of four eye injuries occur in men between the ages of 18 and 40. Nearly one-half of all eye injuries occur around the home, and most often when doing home improvements or playing sports. The good news is that almost all eye injuries can be prevented by wearing protective eyewear. Every household should have at least one pair of certified safety glasses on hand.

Vision Correction Surgery

Prescriptions for eyeglasses or contact lenses may change somewhat or not at all during your 20s and 30s. For this reason, if you are considering having refractive surgery to correct nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) or astigmatism, this is a reasonable time to do so if your ophthalmologist agrees. As with any surgery, refractive procedures such as LASIK, SMILE and others carry both benefits and risks. Talk to your ophthalmologist and study your options carefully before making a decision.

When to start getting regular eye exams

Adults under age 40 with good, healthy vision should have a comprehensive exam with an ophthalmologist every 10 years. Or remember it this way: have one comprehensive eye exam during your 20s, and two during your 30s.

There are some exceptions to this recommendation. If you wear contact lenses, see your eye specialist once a year. If you have diabetes or a family history of eye disease, talk to your ophthalmologist to establish the regularity of your exams.

Regardless of your age, if you have an eye infection, an injury, eye pain or see unusual flashes, floaters or light patterns in your field of vision, call your eye doctor.

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