A Clearer View

Latest treatment options and news about cataracts, dry eye syndrome and other eye care topics.

When is the Right Time for an Eye Exam?

by Damion Wasylow 11 May 2019 12:45 PM

young man getting an eye exam from his optometrist
If you’ve never been diagnosed with vision problems, you likely assume your eyes are in great shape. What you may not notice, however, are small vision problems that inevitably get worse over time. Undetected and untreated, your eyes strain to overcome those minor challenges. Before you know it, the problems grow substantially worse and your quality of life suffers. That’s why it’s critical to get regular eye exams.

According to a study by the National Eye Institute (NEI), half of all Americans have some sort of vision problem. By analyzing data on 12,000 people aged 20 and older, NEI researchers found more than one-third were nearsighted, more than one-third had astigmatism and nearly four-percent were farsighted. For your long-term eye health, it’s important to find out sooner rather than later if you’re also among that group. 

The best way to determine your eye health is through a comprehensive eye exam. These exams, which are administered at your local eye doctor’s practice, are much more inclusive than standard vision screenings. Vision screenings generally consider only visual acuity and often miss more substantial yet less obvious vision challenges.

A comprehensive eye exam reviews everything from peripheral vision and pupillary response to eye muscle strength and eye pressure, among other things. This can reveal most eye health issues, as well as a number of undiagnosed health concerns throughout the body. In some cases, brain tumors, diabetes, high cholesterol and more can be initially detected through an eye exam.

Even if you don’t have apparent vision loss or symptoms of eye disease, The Mayo Clinic recommends the following schedule for regular eye exams:

Children under 5 years old

First comprehensive exam between three and five years old, unless your child’s pediatrician notices obvious symptoms earlier 

Older children and teens

Prior to starting first grade, then every one to two years


Assuming no obvious symptoms of vision impairment, every five to 10 years in your 20’s, every two to four years in your 40’s to mid-50’s, every one to three years in your mid-50’s to mid-60’s, every one to two years after that

If you notice vision challenges at any age, of course, schedule an eye exam right away. And if you have known problems or a family history of eye disease, you should be on a more frequent eye exam schedule. In these instances, you should have an exam at least once per year.

To schedule your comprehensive eye exam, contact North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care today at 352-373-4300.



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