It’s not just people who wear glasses: know when to have an eye check-up

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Having vision exams up to date helps prevent diseases and possible complications in eye health

With the start of a new year, many people take the time to schedule appointments and get a general health assessment. In these situations, those who do not have a vision problem do not pay attention to the need to visit an eye specialist.

If you fit into this context, know that an eye check-up is important not only for those who wear glasses or contact lenses. Having eye exams up to date makes it possible to make early diagnoses, prevent the progression of diseases and even avoid them.

Who should perform the eye check-up?


According to ophthalmologist Sérgio Fernandes, board member of the Brazilian Society of Ophthalmology (SBO), the first eye exam is done while still in the maternity wardin the so-called little eye test, which seeks to diagnose diseases such as retinoblastoma and congenital cataracts.

Already the first visit to the specialist must be made before the child enters school. “Between the age of three is a good age to do a vision assessment and see if the child has any tendency to have strabismus, if there is any pathology that can be corrected in these first years”, she says.

Other symptoms may also indicate that a visit to the specialist is necessary, such as itchy eyes, which can generate keratoconus. “The participation of the ophthalmologist is essential to treat the itch, which is probably a case of allergy”, explains the specialist.

Children who frequently experience headaches, who spend long hours in front of the TV or other screens, who cannot keep up with the pace of learning at school or who have a deviated eye also need to be consulted.

Over 40 years old

From the age of 40 it is common for some eye diseases to begin to manifest. This is the case of presbyopia, the famous “tired view”, in which there is difficulty in seeing closely.

“Changes in the fundus of the eye and changes in eye pressure are much more common after the age of 40, so this is an age, shall we say, emblematic, for check-ups to be carried out”, comments the specialist.


In old age, the eyes deserve special attention, especially if the elderly person has any other condition that impacts vision, such as diabetes and hypertension. Pathologies such as cataracts and glaucoma also have a higher incidence in this age group and require observation, both for prevention and for early diagnosis and greater success in treatment.

Learn more: Is watching TV up close harmful? Find out what the experts recommend

How often do you go to the ophthalmologist?

The expert recommends that patients with vision problems see an ophthalmologist annually. However, if the patient has any pathology or needs more care, visits should take place in shorter periods, as is the case with diabetics.

“Diabetics can present initial retinal alterations and later become important alterations. That’s why, in diabetics this period is shortened to every six or four monthsdepending on the state of his retina”, explains the doctor.

For those who do not have any type of vision problem, the frequency between consultations may be greater. “These patients can space out the visit, but pay attention to the symptoms and complaints and then start a more constant visit to the ophthalmologist”, he advises.

How is the eye check-up done?

At the check-up, some tests are performed to check the patient’s visual condition. According to Sérgio Fernandes, the specialist usually starts the consultation with some questions that will help him in the ophthalmological exam. An inspection of the outside of the eye, eyelids, and conjunctiva should also be done.

There is also an analysis of the pupils, ocular motility, exams of the back of the eye, ocular pressure and the evaluation to know if the patient is colorblind.

“If there is no need, we don’t ask for additional exams, we do the exams that are at hand in the office, emphasizing the examination of the fundus of the eye and the measurement of ocular pressure”, he explains.

Is it necessary to dilate the pupil to perform the check-up?

One of the most uncomfortable processes during visits to the ophthalmologist is pupil dilation. It is made with the application of an eye drop, which generates burning, sensitivity to light and leaves the vision blurred.

There are those who avoid going to the specialist to escape the procedure. However, Sergio explains that pupil dilation does not occur in all visits.

“It depends on the routine of each doctor. Some doctors think it is important to dilate the pupils of all patients who are going to have a check-up, other doctors, depending on the size of the pupil, are able to see the important areas of the retina without the need for dilation”, he says.

Learn more: Contact lenses: seven precautions with cleaning and storage

With which doctor should the ophthalmological check-up be done?

The ophthalmologist is the specialist who is qualified to carry out the ocular evaluation. “He is the one who studies ocular pathologies in depth. Not only that, but also the interaction of these ophthalmological findings with clinical medicine in general and with neurology”, says Fernandes.

Content for educational purposes only. Consult a Doctor.

The translator user relied on the following source:

Minha Vida Website – REF99827

Disclaimer – (English version>) This content has been prepared based on information from research, additional publications, or the translation/verification work of a volunteer editor of this web council. This is a non-profit service. It is strongly recommended that all details and information published be carefully verified. We never allow medication recommendations, medication package inserts or any medication guidance. We never allow partisan politics as information.

Isenção de responsabilidade – (versão em português): Este conteúdo foi preparado com base em informações de pesquisas, publicações adicionais ou no trabalho de tradução/verificação de um editor voluntário deste conselho web. Este é um serviço sem fins lucrativos. É altamente recomendável que todos os detalhes e informações publicadas sejam verificadas cuidadosamente. Nunca permitimos recomendações de medicamentos, bulas ou qualquer orientação sobre medicamentos. Nunca permitimos a política partidária como base para checagem. Para mais informações, leia nossos termos.

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