Do you really need an eye exam every year? - SightMD Skip to main content

April 12, 2023

By: Aaron Blehm, OD

Do you really need an eye exam every year?

person holding eye glasses in front of an eye exam chart

This is a great question, isn’t it? That’s because, unfortunately, all too many people neglect having their eyes checked on a routine basis. The set of two eyes are part of the body, and each deserve to be checked with the same regularity as an annual physical exam.

How often do you really need an eye test?

Actually, there is more than one answer to this question. Your age, as well as whether or not you have problems with your vision, factor into the frequency of when your eyes should be examined. For instance, if the health of your eyesight is good, exams should be scheduled:

Children and Teens

Children’s eyesight changes and develops as they grow, so regular exams are necessary to protect their vision. It is recommended that the age to have your child’s first eye exam is as an infant between 6-12 months and then again between ages three and five before school starts.

Once they reach school age, children and teens should have yearly eye exams. As children grow, their body development can cause rapid vision changes, so yearly eye exams are important, and occasionally their optometrist or ophthalmologist might even ask to see them every six months.

Ages 19-64

According to the AOA, as an adult, you should go to the eye doctor for an eye exam at least every two years. If your doctor sees health concerns or vision changes, they may ask to see you every year. Even adults without vision concerns should have a routine exam every few years.

Ages 65+

The AOA states that adults over age 65 need an annual eye exam. Seniors are more likely to have progressing presbyopia, develop cataracts, or have vision problems resulting from other health conditions. Your eye doctor will let you know what’s best for you and how often you should get an eye exam.

How Often Do You Need an Eye Exam for Glasses or Contacts?

If you wear glasses or contact lenses, or have other vision-related issues, eye exams should be scheduled on an annual basis. Additionally, if you have a chronic health condition, or if eye problems are part of your family history, you should schedule exams more frequently.

Detect Eye Diseases Early

Even if you have 20/20 vision, regular eye exams are important for your eye health. Eye exams can detect diseases like glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, and much more. Catching conditions like these early will allow for treatment that can help preserve your vision and prevent other eye problems

Discover Other Health Conditions

No matter what your age or health history might be that determines how often you should plan a visit to the optometrist, make your vision a priority. Don’t take the “I’ll get around to it someday” attitude, because it is all too easy to keep putting the exam off. The benefits of staying on top of the health of your eyes may range from simply discovering that an upgrade to your prescription will help you see better, to finding early signs of potential vision problems before they become too serious.

Some of the many conditions that an eye exam can uncover include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • High cholesterol
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Brain tumors
  • Lupus
  • Thyroid disease
  • Parkinson’s disease

Keep an Eye on the Calendar

Have you made your appointment for an eye exam in 2023 yet? If not, don’t wait. Call or request an appointment with any of the SightMD offices located throughout Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Not sure if there is one near you? Visit our “Locations” page. (Trust us. There’s sure to be an office that’s convenient to you!