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How often do children need eye exams and replacement glasses?

At least annually. As the child grows, so do their eyes. There is a possible need for correction that can be subtle enough that the child does not look like he/she is having trouble seeing. In addition, if there is a dramatic change in the "eye work", an eye exam should be performed. "Eye work" would be a change from not reading much to a lot or needing to see in low-light environments.

Glasses need to be replaced if they are poorly fitting or markedly scratched, not really on the basis of the calendar. Similarly, older children and teenagers who wear glasses do not necessarily need examinations linked to the calendar.

Periodic examinations for a change in the prescription are required whenever there are symptoms of reduced vision or when a patient has had visual acuity measured and determined to be abnormal. For teenagers who wear glasses, the prescription does often change until they are about 20 years of age. Therefore, it is best to have the vision measured at least every 18 months, and if there is a decrease, undergo a complete eye examination.

Babies and children should be checked by their pediatrician at least annually for eye abnormalities; and if abnormalities are found, the child should be examined by an EyeMD. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.