How Often To Get Eye Exam

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Getting An Eye Exam Sooner

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There are many situations where you should get an eye exam sooner, even if the eye doctor hasnt recommended it. For example, suppose youre a 30-year-old and just received a comprehensive eye exam. In that case, you typically wont need another for 2 or 3 years.

However, if you experience any troublesome symptoms, its in the best interest of your eye health to see the optometrist sooner. They will be able to determine whether you need another full exam or not.

Some symptoms to be mindful of:

  • Severe or unusual eye discomfort
  • Blurry or double vision
  • Unusually red eyes
  • Itching or burning eyes

There are often reasonable explanations for these symptoms, such as allergies or drier than normal air. But you only have two eyes, so its best not to assume everything is fine.

Trouble Seeing At Night

Night blindness, when individuals can see perfectly well under adequate lighting but struggle in low lighting conditions, is a natural part of the ageing process. However, problems with nighttime vision may also indicate that you are beginning to develop cataracts. Cataracts can only be cured using surgery, but your eye doctor can recommend steps you can take to slow the progression of cataracts. For more information, and to get your eyes checked, make an appointment with your eye doctor.

How Often Do I Need To Get A Dilated Eye Exam

How often you need a dilated eye exam depends on your risk for eye disease. Talk to your doctor about whats right for you.

Get a dilated eye exam every 1 to 2 years if you:

  • Are over age 60
  • Are African American and over age 40
  • Have a family history of glaucoma

If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, ask your doctor how often you need an exam. Most people with diabetes or high blood pressure need to get a dilated eye exam at least once a year.

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Faqs Answered: How Often To Get An Eye Exam

We get this question a lot, so we thought it would be good to answer it in more detail. What question is that you ask? Well, it turns out inquiring minds would like to know how often to get an eye exam to maintain optimal vision health.

What Is An Eye Exam

Not sure how often to schedule an eye exam? This graphic is a great ...

When an ophthalmologist, or eye doctor, performs an eye exam, they will check your vision and look for any signs of eye disease or injury while checking the overall health of your eyes. There are many different types of eye exams, each of which examines a specific aspect of your eye health or vision. Getting regular eye exams is important because they help doctors detect eye problems and vision issues as soon as they develop, when they are the most easily treated.

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The Importance Of Regular Eye Exams

The Eye Care Team professionals build their eye exams around 2 central pillars: education and prevention.

Not everyone has been taught about the necessity of regular eye exams for your overall health and wellness. Did you know eye exams can offer insight into conditions and diseases that affect the whole body?

On top of that, eye exams can catch eye diseases or vision problems that may have no outward signs or symptoms until vision loss or eye damage has already occurred. Dont wait until something is wrong to see an eye doctor in many cases, preventing eye conditions may be easier than treating them.

You Cant Remember Your Last Visit To An Eye Doctor

Ask five different eye care providers how often you should visit an eye doctor and youll probably get five different answers, Block says. AOA says every year, but some people in practice say if you have no injuries or problems, you dont need an exam every year.

Block advises relying on your own eye care provider to tell you how often you should be seen.

That doesnt mean theyre going to dilate you every year, but just make sure things are normal and healthy and there are no changes in your vision or eye health, she says.

Certain exceptions apply. Doctors agree: Children should have their eyes examined every year and so should anyone with diabetes.

For the rest of us, regular check-ups are a safeguard, if nothing else. There are some eye diseases that come with no change of vision and no pain, Block says.

Page published on Monday, December 23, 2019

Page updated on Tuesday, March 15, 2022

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What Are The Different Types Of Eye Exams

Although most people are familiar with the basic vision test where you stand behind a line and read letters of varying sizes from a chart on the wall, there are many more types of more comprehensive eye exams that your doctor may perform depending on the vision or eye health issues that you are experiencing.

Complete eye exam

A complete eye exam is a very comprehensive eye exam that can take up to two hours to conduct. A complete eye exam will include a review of your previous eye exams and medical history, as well as your family history as it relates to any medical issues that could affect eye health. A visual acuity test, in which you will read numbers, letters, and symbols of varying sizes off of an eye chart, will also be conducted. Depending on the outcome of your visual acuity test, other eye exams may also be conducted. An eye pressure test is also often performed.

Refraction assessment

Visual field test

Your doctor will test the range of what you are able to see out of the sides of your eyes during the visual field test. The visual field test helps to determine if there are any areas in your overall field of vision that are experiencing difficulty seeing. In order to conduct the visual field test, you may be asked to look straight ahead with one eye covered and then tell your doctor each time you see their hand move. When patients are unable to see with a full field of vision, it provides the doctor clues about what eye condition they may be experiencing.

Vision Care And Health Conditions

How often should I get an eye exam?


Both types of diabetes can cause vision problems, particularly if the person has had diabetes for years or their diabetes has been left untreated. Diabetes can cause a condition called diabetic retinopathy, which is where the retina is damaged by the expansion of blood vessels in the eye.

Diabetes can also cause increased pressure in the eye, or glaucoma, and can be a risk factor for developing cataracts.

If someone has diabetes, its recommended that they have a complete eye examination once a year to make sure any vision problems caused by diabetes are caught early.

High Blood Pressure

Untreated high blood pressure can cause damage to the delicate blood vessels in and around the eyes, which can lead to the development of diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, glaucoma, and a variety of other vision problems.

Optometrists and ophthalmologists will also be able to detect the signs of high blood pressure in the eye.

People with high blood pressure should seek an eye examination at least once a year.

Lyme Disease

If a person contracts Lyme disease, it can potentially result in conjunctivitis and inflammation of the optic nerve, retina blood vessels, or uveitis . Someone that has Lyme disease should seek an eye exam at least once a year until they no longer have the disease. Its recommended that people with ongoing Lyme infection symptoms following developing Lyme disease continue to have yearly eye exams.

Autoimmune Conditions

Liver Disease

Sickle Cell Disease

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Teens And Young Adults

Teens and young adults usually experience little visual changes. However, by this age, school and work may involve staring at a computer screen for much of the day. Because of this, in today’s technology-driven world, eyestrain and Computer Vision Syndrome are becoming a common problem for this age group. It is a good idea to get eyes checked regularly during this age as a preventative measure.

If you have a family history of eye or eyesight problems, now is a good time to pay attention to how your vision changes. Regular eye exams allow you and your doctor to track changes and prevent poor vision.

Do Children Need An Eye Exam Every Year

The frequency with which children are recommended to have eye exams is different to that of adults. The main reason for this is that children go through much more rapid development, and this can affect their eyes and vision as well as their overall growth. Changes can affect childrens eyesight and eye health much more quickly. In fact, myopia , which is defined as the ability to see nearby objects easily, but those further away appear blurred, usually first develops in childhood.

Again, we strongly recommend that you follow the schedule of eye exams that is set out for your child by your eye doctor.

If you would like more information about the frequency of eye exams, or to make an appointment, please get in touch with our friendly, knowledgeable eyecare team. You can contact Clarity Vision Of Holly Springs in Holly Springs, North Carolina at 646-2900 today.

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How Often Do Children Need Eye Exams

People can develop refractive errors at any age. Other than presbyopia, which is common in those 40 and over, most types of refractive errors start in childhood.

Kids should, therefore, have vision checked periodically: once between ages 6 and 12 months, once between ages 12 to 36 months, and again at 5 years of age. A first eye exam checking blink and pupil response is even recommended in newborns.

Since kids develop quickly, annual exams are smart. Blurry vision can otherwise cause school problems, for instance, if kids cant see the front of the class.

Should I Get My Eyes Checked While Pregnant

Medical Guide 2019: How often do children need eye exams?

Pregnant women can experience fluid shifts in the cornea that lead to blurred vision or issues with their contact lenses. Lacrimal acinar cells, which regulate the production and secretion of tear fluid, can also become disrupted and lead to dry eye.

It is absolutely safe to have an eye examination during pregnancy, Dr. Plant says. Many women experience vision changes during pregnancy due to hormonal fluctuations and therefore need a comprehensive eye examination.

Diabetic women should receive an eye exam before they become pregnant and then again during their first trimester.

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What Will Happen During Your Examination

When you have your initial examination at our office in Atlanta, you should be prepared to tell us about any eye strain, vision changes, or other issues that are affecting your eyesight. For example, you should tell us if you feel eye strain when you are reading. If you use contacts or glasses to improve your eyesight, you should bring your prescription to our office. Learning about your prescription will help us analyze the current condition of your eyes.

During your appointment, we will use a variety of different methods to analyze your eyesight and screen for illnesses that could affect your vision. For example, we may use special instruments to look at your eyes. We may also instruct you to use a small device to shield one of your eyes while you read numbers or letters with your other eye.

Frequency Of Eye Examinations

The need for periodic optometric examination has been recognized for many years. Vision and ocular health conditions are not always accompanied by recognizable symptoms. There is often an increased risk to the patient if treatment is not initiated in a timely manner. Relying on the occurrence of obvious symptoms in order to initiate an eye examination exposes the patient to an unnecessary risk.

Clinical EvidenceMany factors will influence the frequency of optometric examinations and only the examining optometrist, upon the analysis of all factors, can determine when a particular patient should return for another examination. The Canadian Association of Optometrists accepted the recommendations contained in the Review of the Canadian Association of Optometrists Frequency of Eye examinations Guideline An Evidence-Based Approach, Principal Investigators: Barbara E. Robinson, PhD., Paul Stolee, PhD. Research Team: Katie Mairs, MSc., Selena Santi, MA., Christine Glenny, MSc. Prepared by: Katie Mairs, MSc. University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

CAO Policy PositionFrequency guidelines can assist the patient in determining the need for examination. The minimum frequency of examination for those at low risk is as follows:

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No Risk Eye Exam For Kids

Over 110 years ago, the founder of Standard Optical, Henry Schubach, made a promise to the communities within Utah and the intermountain west area that he would make eye care affordable to every child, regardless of their situation. Thus, the No Risk Eye Exam was born, which is this: kids under the age of 18 should have an eye exam every year before school. If the childs vision is 20/20 and free or any disorders of the eye, the exam is FREE, therefore eliminating cost as a barrier. This policy is still in force at Standard Optical.

DID YOU KNOW: Standard Optical has done cataract surgery on dozens of patients who are over 65 but who had their first eye exam at Standard Optical as young as age 2. Now thats long-term patient commitment!

When Do You Need Exams More Frequently

How often should you have an eye exam?

There are certain circumstances when you may need eye exams more frequently. Some eye conditions have a higher risk level to your vision, which means you may need an optometry exam more frequently to keep an eye on further vision or eye health deterioration. For example, monitoring glaucoma, cataracts, or other conditions may require yearly exams. Your optometrist will tell you about the ideal frequency for your eye exams.

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Blurry Vision Or Problems Focusing

Suddenly blurry vision or problems focusing may be signs of a larger health issue. If this occurs you should book an emergency appointment with your eye doctor right away. If your blurry vision comes and goes, or is limited to one eye, you should schedule a regular exam with your eye doctor as soon as possible.

If your vision has been getting slowly blurrier over time there is probably no need to panic. It probably means that your eyes are changing, and may indicate that your prescription has changed. You should book an appointment with your optometrist as soon as possible.

What Happens During A Dilated Eye Exam

The exam includes:

  • A visual acuity test to check how clearly you see. Your doctor will ask you to read letters that are up close and far away.
  • A visual field test to check your peripheral vision. Your doctor will test how well you can see objects off to the sides of your vision without moving your eyes.
  • An eye muscle function test to check for problems with the muscles around your eyeballs. Your doctor will move an object around and ask you to follow it with your eyes.
  • A pupil response test to check how light enters your eyes. Your doctor will shine a small flashlight into your eyes and check how your pupils react to the light.
  • A tonometry test to measure the pressure in your eyes. Your doctor will use a machine to blow a quick puff of air onto your eye, or gently touch your eye with a special tool. Dont worry it doesnt hurt!
  • Dilation to check for problems with the inner parts of your eye. Your doctor will give you some eye drops to dilate your pupil. This helps the doctor see inside your eye.

Depending on your needs, your doctor may include other tests too. Ask your doctor if you have questions.

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What Happens During Your Eye Exam

Your eye exam features several diagnostic tests that help your eye doctor get a complete picture of your eye health and vision. The goal of these tests is to catch any problems as early as possible to help protect your vision. Expect to take an active roleyour eye doctor will ask you questions throughout the exam.

You can expect the following during your eye exam:

Do You Need To Receive Exams If You Have Good Vision

How Often Should You Have an Eye Exam?

You may believe that you are only required to get examinations if you use contacts or glasses to improve your vision. However, you can still have dry eyes and experience other health problems when you have good eyesight. In addition, you might begin to develop cataracts, glaucoma, and other eye conditions as you get older. Further, you might experience vision changes that require you to begin using glasses or wearing contacts.

As a result, you should receive regular eye exams during your lifetime. Receiving exams from a healthcare professional will increase your chance of diagnosing eye problems at an early stage. Receiving treatment for these conditions can prevent you from experiencing other eye issues in the future. In addition, you may be more likely to maintain clear vision that will allow you to live independently as you become older.

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Should I Get An Eye Exam Every Year

If you are usually healthy and arent experiencing any noticeable changes in your vision, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that you have an eye exam at least once every two years. However, every patient is different, and its advised that you follow the specific recommendation given to you by your eye doctor. This is because the frequency of your visits will depend on individual circumstances and risk factors.

If you currently wear prescription eyewear, youll almost certainly be asked to attend an eye exam annually so that your prescription can be monitored and changed if necessary. This will help ensure that you can see clearly at all times, including making sure that you meet the required standards for driving.

Similarly, if you have been diagnosed with an eye disease like cataracts or glaucoma, or if your eye doctor thinks that you could be at risk of developing an eye disease, you will need to attend appointments more frequently. This is so that your eyes can be monitored more closely, enabling you to start any necessary treatments promptly and prevent debilitating symptoms from occurring.

Older adults are also more likely to develop problems with the health of their eyes too, and this means that more regular appointments are usually recommended. You may be asked to attend annually, or perhaps even every six months.

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