The eyes have it, so be sure to take care of them

ON CALL

November 10, 1992|By Dr. Simeon Margolis | Dr. Simeon Margolis,Contributing Writer

Q: How often do I need to have an examination of my eyes?

A: The Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins makes the following recommendations:

Adults under the age of 65, not at high risk and without symptoms or history of eye disease, should be examined every two to five years. If you are 65 or older, you should have an eye examination every two years. Annual eye examinations are advised for individuals at high risk of vision problems due to any of the following: diabetes, high blood pressure or a family history of any inheritable eye disorder including glaucoma, cataracts, strabismus (eye muscle imbalance or squint), macular degeneration and retinal detachments.

Wearers of contact lenses are advised to have an examination every year and to replace soft and gas-permeable lenses every two to three years.

You should see an ophthalmologist -- a medical eye doctor -- immediately if you experience loss, dimness or distortion of vision; pain in or around the eyes; double vision; flashes of light; halos around lights; "floaters"; sudden eye crossing; change in the color of the iris; swelling of the eyelids; or excessive tearing or discharge.

Dr. Margolis is professor of medicine and biological chemistry at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and associate dean for faculty affairs at the school.

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