Eye Care: Eye exams

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Regular eye exams are an important part of preventive health care. An eye exam takes about 45 to 60 minutes and will be performed by an optometrist (OD) or ophthalmologist (MD). Be sure to mention if you wear contact lenses when you schedule your appointment. Bring your contacts and eyeglasses to your exam. A typical eye exam includes:

  • Reviewing your health history, including previous eye surgeries or diseases, family history, medication and allergy updates
  • Visual acuity measurement by reading letters or pictures on an eye chart
  • Preliminary tests may include eye muscle movements, peripheral or side vide vision testing, how the pupils react to light and a glaucoma test
  • Refraction to determine the refractive error for eyeglasses and contact lenses if needed
  • Eye health evaluation by examining the external and internal structures of the eye
  • Additional testing may be done at this visit or a future appointment for more in-depth assessment or to rule out certain eye conditions

Recommended eye exam frequency for children and adults without eye health issues:

  • Age 0 to 18 – Children will have vision screenings performed by their pediatrician and at school. If a problem is detected at a screening, the child will be referred for an eye exam.
  • Age 18 to 60 years – Every two years, or as recommended
  • Age 61 and older – Every year, or as recommended