Healthy vision starts with a routine eye exam. Protect your eyes and ensure your sight lasts a lifetime by scheduling routine eye exams at least once every two years. If you have a medical condition such as glaucoma, cataracts, or diabetes, your doctor may recommend having your eyes checked every year.
Routine eye exams act as a preventative measure against diseases that can damage your eyesight. Conditions such as glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy have no visible symptoms, which makes them difficult to diagnose without an exam. Many patients don’t even realize they have an eye disease until they experience vision loss.
Routine eye exams help detect eye problems at their earliest stage. This means your eye doctor will have the best chance of providing treatment to help correct or modify changes to your vision.
There are several factors that determine how often you need an eye exam. Age, overall health, family history, and whether or not you wear glasses or contacts all affect the frequency of eye exams. Here are some general guidelines based on age:
A routine eye exam typically involves a series of tests to evaluate your vision and screen for eye disease. Your eye doctor will use various instruments to examine your eyes for vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia.
The interior of your eyes will also be examined in order to rule out eye problems such as glaucoma, cataracts, or macular degeneration. If a contact lens fitting is requested, that will usually take place at the time of your routine eye exam.
You will also be asked to answer questions about your health, current medications, and vision history. These questions help your doctor evaluate your risk of eye disease. Make sure to provide specifics so your doctor has as much information as possible.