According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, many sight-threatening diseases, if detected early, can be cured or treated to prevent, or slow, the progression of any vision loss.
The most important preventative step is receiving routine examinations by a qualified eye care professional. Children should receive their first comprehensive eye examination before the age of 4, unless a specific condition or history of family childhood vision problems warrants an earlier examination.
Persons agest 20-40 should have an eye exam every 5 years, unless visual changes, pain, flashes of light, new floaters, injury or tearing occurs. Then, immediate care is necessary. Persons 40-64 years old should have an eye exam every 2-4 years, and persons age 65 and over every 1-2 years.
Persons with diabetes are at risk for several eye disorders, including diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and cataracts, and should have eye examinations every year.
African-Americans are at greater risk for glaucoma, and should have eye examinations every 3-5 years before the age of 40, and every 2 years after the age of 40.