Eye exams aren’t only for people with poor vision. They're an important way to find eye problems before symptoms show up. 

What Happens During the Visit?

Patient history
Your doctor will ask about your general health and any family history of eye diseases.

Vision tests
The doctor will check your close and distance vision. You'll read from charts of random letters. She may also test other aspects of your vision -- like your ability to see in 3-D, your side vision (called peripheral vision), and color perception.

This is a test for glaucoma. The doctor will measure the pressure with a device called a tonometer.

Eye exam
The doctor will check all the parts of your eye. You may need drops to dilate -- or widen -- your pupils. This gives the doctor a clear view of the inside of your eye and can help spot early signs of glaucoma, diabetes, high blood pressure, and arthritis. These drops makes your eyes sensitive to light for a few hours. You'll need to wear sunglasses until they wear off. You may need someone to drive you home.

The doctor will as also check your peripheral vision and how well your eye muscles work together.

How Often Should I Go?

  • Everyone needs eye exams. 
  • Children: At birth, 6 months, 3 years, and before entering grade school. 
  • Young adults: Once in your 20s and twice in your 30s.
  • Adults: At age 40 with regular follow-ups, depending on your health.
  • Adults 65 and older: Every 1-2 years.

You’ll need to get checkups more often if you have health conditions or a family history of vision problems likes glaucoma, macular degeneration, or corneal diseases.

When else should you see the eye doctor? If you have a sudden vision change, eye pain, or severe irritation.