Eye Exams

When are eye exams necessary?

During an eye exam, an eye healthcare provider reviews your medical history and completes a series of tests to determine the health of your eyes. The information from an eye exam may lead to medical procedures or prescriptions. Eye exams should take place periodically as follows:

Before age 3

All children should have their eyes checked before age three. If there is family history of childhood vision problems, or if the child has a wandering, crossed, or other eye problem, his or her eyes should be checked earlier.

Before the age of 20

Every 1 to 2 years or as recommended

Between 20 to 40 years old

Every 1 to 2  years, unless you experience any problems such as visual changes, pain, flashes of light, new floaters, or tearing, or if you sustain an injury to the eye.

Between 40 to 64 years old

Have a baseline eye exam at age 40, unless you having symptoms or have a risk factor for eye disease. If you have symptoms or a risk factor, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or a family history of eye disease, talk with your ophthalmologist or optometrist for how often you should be examined.

Over 65 years old

Every 1 to 2 years, unless you experience any problems, such as visual changes, pain, flashes of light, new floaters, or tearing, or if you sustain an injury to the eye. 

  • African-Americans are at 8 to 9 times greater risk for glaucoma than whites.

  • People with diabetes are at risk for several eye disorders, including diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and cataracts, and should have eye exams at least every year.

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