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Eye Examination

What happens during an eye exam?

At the beginning of an eye exam, your eye doctor will ask for your medical history and if you have been experiencing any vision problems. If you currently have glasses or contacts, be sure to bring them to the exam so your eye doctor can see if you need prescription changes.

During the eye exam, your eye doctor can perform a number of different tests such as a glaucoma test (this is a simple screening to measure inner eye pressure), a visual acuity test, and a refraction test.

During an eye exam your eye doctor is not just checking how well you see, but your risk for eye diseases, like glaucoma and cataracts. If you have medical conditions of any kind, these could also impact your vision, for instance, if you are a diabetic, screening for diabetic retinopathy will be advised.

Based on the results of these tests, your doctor can determine if you need any follow-up vision tests and related treatment or if you need to get glasses or contact lenses. If you have glasses or contact lenses, you may need to change the strength of your prescription. These tests help evaluate your overall eye health.

How often should I get an eye exam?

Getting an eye exam once every one or two years can help identify vision problems early on and improve vision quality if you need prescription changes.

Factors such as age, health, and a family history of vision problems may determine how often you need an eye exam.

You can also check with your doctor about the frequency of your eye exam. If you have high blood pressure or diabetes, they may recommend more frequent exams.

If you are under the age of 40 and don’t have eye problems, you may only need an eye exam every 2 years. After age 40, consider going once a year. This is especially important if you notice a change in your vision, or if you have a family history of diabetes or glaucoma.

Some eye conditions, in particular glaucoma, don't cause symptoms and the only way to detect them is to have your eyes tested.

If you have a sudden change in your vision, lose part or all of your vision in one or both eyes, have a very painful eye or have an accident that affects your eyes, visit your physician or eye doctor immediately.