Absent previous signs, symptoms or risk factors, Prevent Blindness encourages all Americans to get a baseline eye exam by an ophthalmologist or optometrist at the age of 40, and regular eye care thereafter (your eye doctor will tell you how often you should return for routine visits).

Why 40?

This is an age when indicators of reduced vision and/or poor eye health begin to become more prominent.

Common adult eye diseases that often begin to impact the American public at age 40 include:

Diabetic Retinopathy

Close to 5 million Americans age 40 and older have diabetic retinopathy, an eye disease linked to diabetes. The longer someone has diabetes, the greater the chance of retinopathy. Over time, the disease can cause severe vision loss or blindness. Like most eye conditions, retinopathy is best treated if detected early. Read More


More than 2.2 million American age 40 and older – nearly one in 50 – have glaucoma, which can lead to significant blindness.  Once again, this is a condition for which treatment is widely available but most effective when the condition is detected early. Read More

Again, this message does not aim to replace recommendations for earlier eye care to treat previously existing disease or injury, or for vision examinations for eye glasses or contact lenses. Those individuals who show any symptoms of eye disease, including common risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or family history of eye disease are encouraged to consult with an eye care provider as early as possible to determine how frequently they should be examined. We all have different eye care needs and we need to understand our individual circumstances. The best way to do this is to consult with an eye care professional and follow their guidance.