Yearly eye and vision examinations are an important part of preventive health care. Many eye and vision problems have no obvious signs or symptoms. As a result, individuals are often unaware that problems exist. Early diagnosis and treatment of eye and vision problems are important for maintaining good vision and eye health and, when possible, preventing vision loss.
Comprehensive Eye Exam
What happens during an eye exam?
First, you’ll be asked to provide an up-to-date medical history which can help identify possible risk factors for diseases that could have an impact on your eye health. During the exam itself, a visual exam of your eye and lids will be conducted first to look for any abnormalities in the way your eyes look. Next, examinations and assessments will be performed to determine how well your eyes see under different conditions, including determining how well they see objects at far and near distances, how well you can see from side to side, and how well your eyes work together. If you’re having a dilated exam, special eye drops will be administered to painlessly widen your pupils so the retina and optic nerve head at the back of your eye can be assessed. You may also have an eye pressure test to determine if you’re at risk for glaucoma.
How often do I need to have my eyes examined?
Current guidelines recommend children have an eye exam at six months and three years of age and before entering first grade, then every two years thereafter. Adults should have a comprehensive exam with dilation every two years until age 60, and annually after that. If you have certain risk factors for eye disease, you may need to be examined more often.
My child has eye exams in school; do they still need to see the eye doctor?
Yes. While school exams serve an important purpose for identifying many issues that can impede school performance, they are not a substitute for a regular professional eye exam. School exams are very limited in their scope, which means they’re only designed to look for a very specific set of vision-related issues. Professional exams are far more extensive and necessary to assess complete vision health.