frequently asked questions about the eye exam (faqs)
Below, we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to understanding eye exams.
what services are included in an eye exam?
An eye exam can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Based on the results of your eye exam, your doctor may recommend whether you need vision correction by prescribing glasses or contact lenses or perhaps a surgical intervention such as LASIK. visits do not typically include a fitting for glasses or contact lenses, and the surgery would require a separate meeting with a specialist. A basic eye exam will only assess the following:
- the sharpness of your vision
- refractive errors in your eyeglass prescription
- peripheral vision
- pupillary reaction to light and nearby objects
- eye alignment
- muscle function
- eye health
- If there is a family history of eye disease, eye exams should be done based on your family history.
- Once someone reaches the age of 60 to 65, they should have an eye exam every year due to a higher incidence of glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration.
- If someone has diabetes, they should have a dilated eye exam every year.
- if they have diabetes but no vision problems or eye damage from diabetes
- seek an annual checkup (as long as the optometrist dilates your eyes for the exam)
- one patient has mild cataracts and good vision
- a patient has a sudden change or loss of vision urgently
- a patient has metal in the eye or another foreign body; they should see an ophthalmologist urgently
what are the most common reasons for visiting an optometrist?
according to ophthalmologist and oculoplastic surgeon dr. rich-minded elizabeth chiang, the most common reason is when people can’t see well, usually because they need glasses or have cataracts. other common reasons include eye pain or irritation. Some people have eye diseases and need regular follow-up appointments for treatment and monitoring. People with diabetes are recommended to have an eye exam at least once a year to check for diabetic retinopathy.
How often are eye exams recommended?
The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends scheduling a baby’s first eye exam around six months of age. dr Chiang suggests that children who do not see well should have an eye exam every year. if good vision does not develop during childhood, someone may never have good vision; a condition called amblyopia.
dr. Chiang also recommends that adults who wear contact lenses be seen annually. wearing contact lenses puts the patient at high risk of infection of the cornea. adults who only wear glasses (no contact lenses) can be seen every two years. adults without vision problems tend to have eye exams less often. You can follow these general guidelines for how often you should have an eye exam:
when should someone seek an optometrist or ophthalmologist?
according to dr. Chiang, if someone has healthy eyes in addition to wearing glasses or contact lenses, it’s okay to see an optometrist. a person should see an optometrist if:
If someone has an eye condition or disease, especially one that requires treatment or possible surgery, they should probably see an ophthalmologist. Common eye diseases include glaucoma and macular degeneration. a person should visit an ophthalmologist if:
Millions of visually impaired Americans do not seek vision care. The cost of an eye exam depends on whether you are a new patient, your location, and the clinic you choose. Without insurance, an eye exam can range from $50 to $250, but is often lower in cost when received from a retailer. neither contact lenses nor eyeglass fittings nor the glasses or contact lenses themselves are included in the cost of a basic eye exam.