Why it's done

  • An eye exam helps detect eye problems at their earliest stage — when they're most treatable. Regular eye exams give your eye care professional a chance to help you correct or adapt to vision changes and provide you with tips on caring for your eyes.


When to have an eye exam

  • Several factors may determine how frequently you need an eye exam, including your age, health and risk of developing eye problems. General guidelines are as follows:


Children 3 years and younger

  • For children under 3, your pediatrician will likely look for the most common eye problems — lazy eye, crossed eyes or misaligned eyes. If there are eye concerns or symptoms, an examination is appropriate at that time regardless of age. Your child could undergo a more comprehensive eye exam between the ages of 3 and 5.



School-age children and adolescents

  • Have your child's vision checked before he or she enters first grade. If your child has no symptoms of vision problems and no family history of vision problems, have his or her vision rechecked every one to two years. Otherwise, schedule eye exams based on the advice of your eye doctor.



  • In general, if you are healthy and you have no symptoms of vision problems, it is still recommended to have your eyes checked every year.


  • Have your eyes checked more often if you:

    • Wear glasses or contact lenses

    • Have a family history of eye disease or loss of vision

    • Have a chronic disease that puts you at greater risk of eye disease, such as diabetes

    • Take medications that have serious eye side effects