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During an eye exam, an eye healthcare provider looks at your health history and gives you a series of eye tests. The tests are done to check the health of your eyes. They check for problems that can develop over time, such as glaucoma and macular degeneration. You’ll also be checked to see if your vision needs correcting with prescription lenses. If you already wear lenses, your prescription will be checked to confirm it’s still right for you.
When are eye exams needed? The answer varies by age, risk, and symptoms. According to the American Optometric Association:
Low risk for eye problems, no eye symptoms
Higher risk for eye problems (see below)
Problems such as visual changes, pain, flashes of light, new floaters, excess tears, or injury to the eye
Ages 18 to 64
Every 2 years
Every 1 to 2 years, or as advised by your eye healthcare provider
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Ages 65 and older
Every year, or as advised by your eye healthcare provider
Talk with your eye healthcare provider to find out if you need eye exams more often. You may be at higher risk of certain eye problems. African Americans are at higher risk for glaucoma. People with diabetes are at risk for several eye disorders. These include diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and cataracts. You may need eye exams more often if you have any of the below:
High blood pressure
Family history of eye disease, such as glaucoma or macular degeneration
Previous eye surgery
And you may need eye exams more often if you:
Work in a job that can cause eye injury of any kind
Take medicines with side effects that can cause changes in the eyes
Have a family history of genetic eye disorders
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