A female patient receiving an eye examination from a male optometrist.

Eye exams are essential for everyone, whether you’re a child, adult, or senior. 

Many patients assume the eye doctor is only necessary if you need glasses, but your optometrist plays a vital role in your eye health and vision. Regular visits to your eye doctor can help your eyes work at their best. 

How frequently should you visit your eye doctor? 

Regular Eye Exams Are Essential for Your Eye Health & Vision

Eye exams play a bigger role in protecting your eye health and vision than you think. Besides assessing how well you see, your eye doctor can identify eye conditions and recommend ways to care for your vision. You should prioritize seeing your optometrist regularly—you can have eye-related problems even if you can see clearly. 

According to the Canadian Association of Optometrists, eye exam frequency can vary depending on your age and eye health. Adults between 20 to 64 should have an eye exam at least every 2 years, while older adults 65 and above should see an eye doctor annually. Children should have a yearly eye exam until they’re 18. 

If you have a higher risk of eye disease or certain medical conditions, like diabetes, you may need to visit your eye doctor more frequently. They can recommend the best eye exam schedule for your needs. 

What Can You Expect During Your Eye Exam?

Comprehensive eye exams are necessary to help your eye doctor get a complete picture of your eye health and vision. They can diagnose eye conditions and recommend a custom treatment plan to improve your symptoms. 

You can expect several steps during your eye exam, including medical history, vision testing, and an eye health evaluation. 

Medical History

Your eye exam includes reviewing your medical history, whether you’re a new or returning patient. During your first eye exam, your optometrist will ask several questions about your eye health and vision, including your family history, lifestyle, medications, previous issues, and other relevant information. 

This review won’t be as extensive during later visits, but your eye doctor will keep your medical history up-to-date. Knowing these details is essential to help identify potential risks or concerns. 

Eye Pressure Testing

Glaucoma can lead to severe vision loss if left untreated—unfortunately, this condition can develop with limited symptoms. You will likely not know you have glaucoma until your vision is affected, making eye exams vital for helping diagnose this condition. Your optometrist can use tonometry to assess your risk for glaucoma. 

During this test, your eye doctor measures the eye’s intraocular pressure (IOP). Having high pressure can mean you are at greater risk for glaucoma. That being said, it is possible to develop glaucoma without high pressure, so measuring the eye pressure is just one part of a comprehensive ocular health examination.

A woman in an optometrist's practice shaking hands with her eye doctor.

Visual Acuity

Visual acuity is how clearly you see from different distances. This test is typically the first thing a patient pictures when they think of an eye exam. Your optometrist has you read off an eye chart to help determine if you have a refractive error, like myopia

Another aspect of your visual acuity is the refraction test—a way for your eye doctor to identify the lens power you need to see clearly. Your optometrist has you look through different lenses to help find your prescription. 

Eye Health Evaluation 

An eye health evaluation involves looking at the eye’s internal structures. Many eye diseases can develop without visible symptoms, making them difficult to diagnose. While the naked eye can’t notice these conditions, your eye doctor can diagnose them by looking inside the eye. 

During their evaluation, your optometrist examines different areas of the eye to help identify eye disease as early as possible. They can help protect your vision the sooner they diagnose a problem. 

What Happens After Your Eye Exam? 

Your optometrist will share the results of your tests at the end of your eye exam and answer any questions you may have. If you have a refractive error, they’ll recommend glasses or contact lenses to help improve your vision. They’ll also recommend a customized treatment plan to address any eye conditions they identify. 

Book Your Next Eye Exam

Eye exams are essential to help protect your eye health and vision. Your optometrist is here to help, whether prescribing glasses or treating eye disease. Remember to book regular eye exams—even if you can see fine. 

Contact River City Eye Care when it’s time for your next eye exam.