The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends an eye disease screening for all aging adults.

People with no eye problems or risk factors should see an ophthalmologist for a baseline eye disease screening at age 40, even if they have no problems with their vision. It’s important to see an ophthalmologist at age 40 because early signs of disease and changes in vision often begin at this age.

A baseline screening gives the doctor a beginning picture of your overall eye health. During future exams, your ophthalmologist can see changes in your eye health by comparing results against those at the baseline screening. A baseline eye exam may also detect eye diseases common in adults aged 40 and older. The exam provides greater chance for early treatment and preservation of vision.


People of any age with eye conditions or risk factors should see an ophthalmologist now. They will tell you how often to have eye exams based on your eye health. People in this group should not wait until age 40 to get a baseline eye disease screening.

Risk factors for eye disease include:

  • diabetes,
  • high blood pressure, or
  • a family history of eye disease.

If you already see an ophthalmologist to treat ongoing disease or injuries, do not stop. Also, keep your current vision examination appointments for eyeglasses or contact lenses.

Why Get an Eye Screening at 40?

An exam by an ophthalmologist can uncover common conditions like those below. It can also find less common but serious problems, such as ocular tumors. The exam can also reveal systemic diseases that affect the eyes, like hypertension (high blood pressure) and diabetes. With early treatment, potentially blinding eye problems often have a good outcome. These diseases include glaucoma, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy.

Take Steps to Protect Your Vision

If you are age 40 or older and have not had a recent eye disease screening, schedule one with an ophthalmologist today. It is an essential step toward preserving your vision and keeping your eyes healthy.