Dear Dr. Roach: How often does a healthy person with perfect vision and no eye concerns need to see an eye doctor? D.S.
Answer: A periodic eye exam in someone with no symptoms involves a screening test for vision changes related to aging and other eye diseases, including glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. There are several commonsense reasons for screening, but there has not been good evidence to support its use. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force does not make a recommendation for or against screening. The Canadian Task Force recommends against it.
By contrast, the American Academy of Ophthalmologists recommends a baseline exam at age 40; visits every two to four years from age 40-54; every year to three years from age 55-64; and annual exams for people over 65.