When was the last time you got an eye exam? Do you even know how often you should get one? The decision of when to schedule an exam really comes down to your age, family history, and any eye problems you may be experiencing. If you’re older than 40, your doctor may recommend a routine eye exam every one to two years. If your eyes are in good health and you’re younger than 40 years old, your eye doctor may recommend routine testing every two years as preventative care. If your eyes aren’t in great health or you’ve had problems in the past, you may want to schedule yearly eye exams to ensure more significant health problems don’t go unnoticed, such as the following:
Children should undergo routine eye exams as well, even if they don’t have current eye problems or other risk factors. It’s normal for newborns to have eye exams shortly after birth. By the time your child is in first grade, they should have an eye exam every one to two years.
There are a variety of risk factors that may determine whether your eyes are at risk of developing problems. Some factors include the following:
When it’s time to schedule your next eye exam, make sure to inform your doctor’s office of any vision problems you’re experiencing. To prepare for your appointment, jot down any questions or concerns you may have ahead of time, and update your eye doctor on any medications you’re currently taking. Your doctor may also want to learn more about your family eye health history.
If you wear contacts or glasses, plan on bringing them along to the exam, and tuck a pair of sunglasses in your pocket or purse for your drive home. Sunglasses will come in handy if your doctor dilates your eyes with eye drops during the exam.
When you first arrive at your doctor’s office, either a staff member or your doctor will run through your vision and medical history. Depending on your eye health and any vision tests your doctor may perform, the exam can last anywhere from a half an hour to several hours. Some common tests your doctor may conduct during your exam include:
Depending on the results of these tests, your doctor may order additional tests and discuss treatment plans for any conditions you may have. For example, if your doctor decides you need glasses, a staff member will measure you for a pair of frames and test your eyes for a pair of lenses. Most offices offer a wide variety of glasses frames to choose from to suit your personal style and taste.