When Should You Have an Eye Exam?
If you wear glasses for nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, have an exam yearly. This helps you maintain an accurate prescription. Especially if you are a young adult, your eyeglass prescription will change often. This is also the case if you’re pregnant, going through menopause, or change medication.
For those with a natural 20/20 vision, having regular eye exams is still a good idea. If you have diabetes, hypertension, or a family history of eye disease, you need a yearly exam. This is still the case even if you don’t have any visual problems!
At the age of 40, you should have an eye exam, regardless of if you have vision problems or not. After you’ve turned 40, you should get eye exams every two years. Once you are 50, you should have an eye exam yearly.
What Does a Routine Eye Exam Entail?
A comprehensive eye exam examines a patient’s vision and general ocular health. Usually, this includes examining the following things:
Eye movement (with both eyes working together and separately)
The retina and optic nerve
If a patient’s visual acuity is below average, refraction is given in each eye. This determines their exact prescription.
A routine comprehensive eye exam includes refraction. Refraction can determine a patient’s eyeglass prescription or any changes.
A separate exam is required to determine a patient’s contact lens prescription, type of lens best suited to the patient, and fit.
How Do You Get Fitted for Contacts?
If you want contacts, you need to have a full contact lens exam. If you currently wear contacts, you should have a contact lens exam on a regular basis. This should be in addition to a comprehensive eye exam.
A contact lens exam involves first measuring the surface of the patient’s eye. This will help determine what size and kind of contacts are best suited for them.
Contact lens exams can also involve a tear film evaluation. This evaluation determines how well the eye produces tears. Since contacts tend to dry out the eye, it’s important to know how dry your eyes are before being fit for them.
This can give your eye doctor a better understanding of what contacts are right for you.
After testing dryness, your eye doctor will test for your contact lens prescription.
This is different from your eyeglass prescription. Glasses sit a distance from the eye, while contact lenses set on the surface of the eye. This means that you’ll need different refractive powers to correct vision.
Contacts can take more time to get used to than glasses. A contact exam usually requires follow-up after the first week of wearing contacts.