Eye Check Up

When Do You Need An Eye Check Up?

You know the importance of taking care of your vision, and you want to protect your eyesight, but how do you know when it’s time for an eye check up? When is it okay to keep your regular appointment and when might you need to get to an eye care specialist immediately?

For the most part, if you wear contact lenses that need to be adjusted or prescribed every year, you should try to get an eye check up on a yearly basis. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that the older you get, the more often you should schedule eye exams.

Those in their twenties should go at least once during this time period.

A person from ages 40 to 64 should go every 2 to 4 years.

After the age of 65, a visit to the vision specialist should be made on a yearly basis.

There are other instances in which waiting for the yearly eye check up might just be waiting too long. Here are some things to look out for:

If you suddenly notice that words are more blurry than they used to be, it might be time to go in for an exam. As you age, your vision ages as well. This can lead to the pupils becoming less flexible, which means that reading some types of print can be difficult. Of course, eye strain can sometimes produce the same result, so visiting an eye care specialist will give you the right treatment for your condition.

If you notice that the words are easier to read if you hold the material further away from you, it is possible that your vision might be changing. Getting an eye check up is a good way of figuring out what the problem is.

Another thing to look for is if you notice physical changes in your eyes. If the lids appear rim, if they suddenly become very dry, or if they begin to water excessively, you might have a medical condition that requires treatment. If your eyes appear very red in the whites, you could have conjunctivitis which may require antibiotics.

Sometimes, other medical conditions, such as diabetes, affects eyesight and needs to be ruled out as a culprit. If you start having double vision, faint vision, or blurred vision, then beginning with a vision exam to rule out eye problems is a good place to start before seeing your regular physician.

Regular eye exams are also important because they are able to detect certain medical conditions such as:

Diabetic retinopathy



Age-related macular degeneration

When you get your eye exam, it’s important to let your doctor know any symptoms that you might be experiencing. Some people find it helpful to make a list of concerns and questions, and to take those in with them when they go. If your pupils are going to be dilated, you should have someone accompany you so that he/she can drive you home afterwards.

Some tests that you might have done at the eye exam include:

Visual acuity test

External exam

Eye muscle movement test

Papillary reactions

Cover test


The visual acuity test is the test in which you will read letters and numbers off of a chart in front of you.

The external exam and papillary reactions are completed in order to see how your pupils react to objects at close range as well as light.

In the eye movement test, the doctor will observe how your eyes move by covering one eye first, and then the other while you look at a small target.

Eye pressure might also be checked. Although the short burst of air that comes from the machine might surprise you, it shouldn’t be painful.

It is very important not to take your vision for granted. Getting your eyes checked regularly as well as for any concerns that you might have, is necessary. It’s always better to make an appointment and find out that everything is okay than to wait until it’s too late to seek any effective treatment.