After LASIK, you may think you don’t need to see an eye doctor for a very long time. This is not the case—it’s important to continue to receive regular eye exams after LASIK, and checkups with LASIK MD are not a substitute for these.
Why Do I Need Eye Exams?
In addition to measuring refractive errors, eye doctors also perform a variety of tests to check for other eye diseases. The following are a few common tests used in eye exams:
1. The swinging-flashlight test: The doctor shines a light in each eye successively. Both pupils should constrict similarly; if they don’t, it may be a sign of optic-nerve damage.
2. The air-puff test, or non-contact tonometry: A strong puff of air is directed at the eye to measure the internal pressure of the fluid in the eyeball. The results can help check for glaucoma. As shown in the video, the test can also be performed with physical contact, known as rebound tonometry.
3. The ocular-motility test: The doctor tells the patient to follow his or her finger around the periphery of the patient’s vision, and also to move the eyes quickly from one location to another. The doctor is watching for symmetry between the eyes, smoothness, range, and speed. Poor results could indicate a wide variety of problems.
How Often Should I See an Eye Doctor?
If you underwent LASIK, you were probably used to visiting the optometrist once a year to make sure your prescription was correct, refill a contact lens prescription, or get new glasses. After LASIK, you may not need to get an eye exam every year, according to a 2011 report from the Canadian Association of Optometrists. The report includes different recommendations based on the patient’s age.
- Infants: Receive a first eye exam between six and nine months.
- Two to five years old: At least one eye exam between ages two and five.
- Six to 19 years: One eye exam annually.
- 20 to 39 years: One eye exam every two to three years.
- 40 to 64 years: One eye exam every other year.
- 65+ years: One eye exam annually.
Even though you have received LASIK, your normal eye doctor should be happy to continue to give you regular eye exams. Stick to the recommended schedule to ensure that you catch any potential eye problems early.
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