Common Questions About Eye Exams

Should I have my eyes examined regularly?
Yes. Regular eye exams allow your eye care doctor to detect and treat diseases early, even if you think you are seeing well. Undetected changes can occur from high blood pressure, diabetes, and other conditions such as glaucoma.

How often do I need an eye exam?
Have your eyes examined at least every two years. You may need an eye exam at least once a year, if you:

  • Have diabetes
  • Have a family history of eye disease
  • Are in poor health
  • Have had a previous eye trauma
  • Take medications with potential side effects on your eyes

Will my eyes be dilated?
Not every patient needs a dilated exam, but at least be prepared for dilation. Dilation allows your eye doctor to look inside your eyes to check for diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. Bring sunglasses to wear afterwards since your eyes will be more sensitive to sunlight. It also may be difficult to drive, so consider getting a ride home.

When should my child visit an eye doctor for the first time?
Plan your child's first complete eye exam just before they enter first grade at about age 5 or 6. Schedule follow-up exams every two to four years until age 20. Your child's pediatrician will check his or her eyes at each well-child visit. Any concerns will be referred to an eye doctor.

What is the difference between a routine eye exam and a contact lens exam?
At a routine eye exam, your eye doctor checks your overall vision health and screens for eye disease. During a contact lens exam, your eye doctor fits the unique features of your eyes with lenses that maximize your vision, comfort and lifestyle.