Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Eye Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Eye Exams for Adults

Use the guidelines below to schedule routine vision checks and eye exams with an ophthalmologist or optometrist.

If you know that you are not at risk for eye disease and you don't have signs of vision problems, have a completeeye exam to check for eye disease and vision problems:1

Recommended Related to Eye Health

Understanding Vision Problems -- the Basics

Your eyes are your body's most highly developed sensory organs. In fact, a far larger part of the brain is dedicated to vision than to hearing, taste, touch, or smell combined! We tend to take eyesight for granted; yet when vision problems develop, most of us will do everything in our power to restore our eyesight to normal. The most common forms of vision impairment are errors of refraction -- the way light rays are focused inside the eye so images can be transmitted to the brain. Nearsightedness,...

Read the Understanding Vision Problems -- the Basics article > >

  • Every 5 to 10 years if you are younger than 40.
  • Every 2 to 4 years if you are age 40 to 54. (Starting at age 40, presbyopia is likely to develop.)
  • Every 1 to 3 years if you are age 55 to 64.
  • Every 1 to 2 years if you are age 65 or older.

Your eye doctor may also suggest that you get exams more often just to check for refractive errors.

If you are at risk for or have signs of eye disease, you may need complete eye exams more often.

Eye diseases and refractive errors include:

  • Nearsightedness.
  • Farsightedness.
  • Glaucoma.
  • Age-related macular degeneration.

For people who have diabetes, experts recommend a yearly eye exam.

For adults who are at risk for glaucoma, see these glaucoma screening recommendations.

After reviewing all of the research, the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) concluded that more evidence is needed to find out if the pros outweigh the cons of routine visual acuity screening in older adults.2

Citations

  1. American Academy of Ophthalmology (2005). Comprehensive Adult Medical Eye Evaluation, Preferred Practice Pattern. San Francisco: American Academy of Ophthalmology. Available online: www.aao.org/ppp.

  2. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (2009). Screening for Impaired Visual Acuity in Older Adults. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Available online: www.ahrq.gov/clinic/uspstf09/visualscr/viseldrs.htm.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Christopher J. Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology
Last Revised August 2, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 02, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

Today on WebMD

businesswoman wearing fun eyeglasses
Slideshow
Pink Eye Slideshow
Slideshow
 
Woman with itchy watery eyes
Slideshow
grilled salmon and spinach
Video
 

Understanding Stye
Article
human eye
Article
 
eye
Video
eye exam timing
Video
 

vision test
Tool
is vision correction surgery for you
Article
 
high tech contacts
Article
eye drop
Article