Most women ages 20-40, usually need to see an eye doctor only if they have problems, such as a need for new eyeglasses, an eye injury, or a change in their vision.
If you are a middle aged woman (40-60 years old) who is symptom-free, caucasian, healthy and without family history of eye disease, you should get a comprehensive eye exam from an optometrist or an ophthalmologist in order to establish a baseline. This should be done as close to age 40 as possible, and the doctor should examine your eyes through dilated (wide open) pupils. After that, get checkups from an eye care professional every two to four years until age 60.
If you are black, you should start at age 40 to have a dilated eye exam at least every two years. That’s because glaucoma is very prevalent in blacks, but damage from the disease can be prevented if the disease is caught early.
The following is a checklist of six warning signs of eye disease from womenseyehealth.org that should require professional care:
- Decreased vision
- Eye pain
- Drainage from the eye or redness of the eye
- Floaters and flashes (spider webs, dots, and floating matter that move)
- Seeing halos around lights
- Double vision