In this blog, we will discuss how often you should have a comprehensive eye exam. During a comprehensive eye exam, we not only check your vision and need for glasses but we also monitor your ocular health, monitor any eye diseases, allergies, infections, eye movements and motor skills. We diagnose, manage, and treat certain neurological vision deficits as well.

In short an eye exam is not only about getting an updated prescription of your glasses and contact lenses, it is also a routine health examination to ensure that you stay healthy and address any symptoms that impact your quality of vision and life.

Should a baby have an eye exam?

Our eye doctors recommend having a newborn baby's eyes checked at least once during their first year, especially when they're six to 12 months old, to screen for any potential eye problems or diseases.

And then usually in the next few years, we can space it out. It doesn’t have to be every year unless they have an eye condition and they are being monitored for it.

When should my child have a pediatric eye exam?

It is very important to get your child’s eyes checked at least once before starting school to make sure that there’s nothing that’s going to be holding them back in school and they read and write at their age level.

It is estimated that 1 out of every 5 school aged children will have a vision problem that impacts their learning. As a child begins to read the visual demands change and aspects of their vision that were not critical at an early age, become extremely important to ensure their success at school. For example many children have difficulties keeping their eyes focused on something close up for extended periods of time, this visual skill is critical for reading. Another common visual skill that can impact a child's ability to read at grade level is the ability to accurately and smoothly track their eyes across a sentence without losing their place. At Amplify EyeCare, we offer advanced developmental eye exams that are more intensive than a traditional eye exam and examine all aspects of vision that are critical for the child's stage of development. Learn more about pediatric eye exams.

If my teen does not wear glasses do they need an eye exam? If they wear glasses how often should they get an eye exam?

For patients under 18, we recommend having a comprehensive eye exam every year if they wear prescription glasses or contacts. Even if they feel that their glasses or contact lenses are fine, it is important to assess the changes to their vision and that they are able to perform visually at the level needed for the classroom. For a teen that does not have a prescription for glasses or contact lenses and is not experiencing any problems with their vision it is recommended that they have a comprehensive eye exam every 2 years to assess their overall eye health and vision.

How often should a healthy adult get an eye exam?

Usually, if you are between the ages of 18 and 65, it is acceptable to get an eye exam every two years unless you have an eye condition, are at high risk for eye diseases such as having high blood pressure or diabetes, or if you experience any symptoms that impact your quality of life or vision. In that case, you would want to see your eye doctor annually or as frequently as they suggest.

As a person ages their likelihood of developing vision threatening conditions increases dramatically and the need to schedule more frequent eye exams increases. According to the American Optometric Association, people over the age of 65 should have a comprehensive eye exam every year to make sure that there are no changes in their vision or eye health.

Who needs to have eye exams more frequently?

More frequent testing is required for those with higher risk factors, such as:

  • Individuals with a family history of glaucoma or diabetes who are prone to ocular diseases
  • Steroid users or those taking other medications that may impair vision
  • A person who wears prescription glasses or contact lenses
  • A person who has a history of eye injury or eye surgery

Important note

All of these timelines are just general. If you have diabetes or an eye condition like macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, dry eye etc, that can change how often you should have a comprehensive eye exam. In the event that you start noticing sudden changes in your vision like floaters, flashes, sudden onset of blurriness, double vision, bulging eyes, difficulty reading, visual disturbance of any kind, it is vital to see your eye doctor sooner than your annual eye exam to get it checked so that we could make sure your eyes are healthy and it doesn’t lead to a serious eye condition.

Explore comprehensive care for a comprehensive eye exam at our state-of-the-art optometry clinic in Olympia, serving patients from the surrounding areas including Lakewood, Tacoma, and Lacey. Call (360) 491-2121 or fill out this form to make an appointment today.
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