Eye exams are available everywhere, from discount outlets to surgical
offices, so the fees can vary widely. Additionally, fees can vary depending
upon the type of eye care professional that you are seeing and the type
of services that you are requesting.
A basic comprehensive examination should consist of the following:
- a review of personal and family health history
- evaluation of vision at distance and near
- evaluation for the presence of nearsightedness, farsightedness,
astigmatism and presbyopia
- internal and external eye health examination
Why are eye exams important?
Regardless of your age or physical health, it's important for everyone
to have regular eye exams.
When an ophthalmologist examines your eyes, he or she is doing more
than checking to see if you need glasses. During a complete eye exam,
your doctor will not only determine your prescription for glasses or
contacts, but will also check your eyes for common eye diseases, make
sure your eyes are working together and evaluate your eyes as an indicator
of your overall health.
In addition to checking your vision, ophthalmologists also check for
eye and other diseases that have no early symptoms, but should nevertheless
be treated early. Vision screenings performed by the school nurse or
your employer are not the same as comprehensive eye exams.
Who should get their eyes examined?
Eye examinations are an important part of health maintenance for
everyone. You should have your eyes tested to keep their prescriptions
current and to check for early signs of eye disease. For children,
eye exams can play an important role in normal development. Vision
is closely linked to the learning process. Children who have trouble
seeing or interpreting what they see will often have trouble with
schoolwork. Many times, children don't complain of vision problems
simply because they don't know what normal vision looks like.
What is the eye doctor checking for?
In addition to evaluating your eyes for glasses and contacts, your
eye doctor will check your eyes for eye diseases and other problems
that could lead to vision loss. Here are some examples of the conditions
for which your ophthalmologist will be checking:
What is the difference between a vision screening and a complete eye
- Refractive Error: This refers to your prescription, including
nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Refractive error
is corrected with eyeglasses, contacts or refractive surgery.
- Amblyopia: This occurs when one eye has a much different
prescription than the other. The brain will "shut off" the
image from a turned or blurry eye. When left untreated, amblyopia
can stunt the development of the affected eye, resulting in permanent
vision loss. Amblyopia is often treated by patching the stronger eye
for periods of time.
- Strabismus: Strabismus is defined as crossed or turned eyes.
The doctor will check your eyes' alignment to be sure that they are
working together. Strabismus causes problems with depth perception
and can lead to amblopia.
- Eye Diseases: Many eye diseases, such as glaucoma and diabetic
disease, have no symptoms in their early stages. Your eye doctor will
check the health of your eyes inside and out for signs of early problems.
In some cases, early detection and treatment can reduce the risks
for permanent vision loss.
Vision screenings are general eye tests that are meant to help to
identify who is at risk for vision problems. These are the brief vision
test performed at schools, workplace or pediatrician's office.
A comprehensive eye examination is performed by an eye doctor and will
involve careful testing of all aspects of your vision. Based upon the
results of your exam, the eye doctor will then recommend a treatment
plan for your individual needs. Treatment plans can include glasses
or contact lenses for blurry vision, medical treatment for eye disease
or simply a recommendation that you have your eyes examined again in
another couple of years!
No matter who you are, regular eye exams are important for preserving
your vision for life.
How often should I have my eyes examined?
Eye care experts recommend that everyone have a complete eye exam
every one to two years, depending on age, risk factors and physical
Children without symptoms and who are at low risk for eye problems
should have their eyes screened by six months of age, then at age three
and again at the start of school. Risk-free children should then have
their eyes examined every one to two years.
Often, children who wear eyeglasses and/or contacts need to be seen
annually to keep their prescriptions current.
Adults should have an eye exam every one to 2 years up to age 40, depending
on visual change and health. Adults with diabetes, high blood pressure
and other disorders should be seen annually. Many diseases can have
an impact on the health of your eyes. Adults 40 and older should have
their eyes checked every one to two years to check for common age-related
eye problems such as presbyopia.
Because the risk of eye disease continues to increase with advancing
age adults over 60 should be seen annually.
Some things to look for in school age children with vision problems:
- Consistently sitting too close to the TV or holding a book to close
- Losing his place while reading
- Using a finger to follow along while reading
- Tilting the head to see better
- Frequently rubbing their eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Excessive tearing
- Closing one eye to read, watch TV or see better
- Avoiding activities which require near vision, such as reading
or homework, or distance vision, such as participating in sports
or other recreational activities
- Complaining of headaches or tired eyes
- Receiving lower grades than usual
Schedule your vision exam by calling 541-687-2110
More Glasses and Contacts Information:
Feel free to call or drop in if you'd like to speak to someone in person.
Commonly Asked Questions
How often should I have an eye exam?
Children - Six months of age, three years old, before starting
school, and every two years after. If your child wears glasses or contacts,
they should have an exam yearly.
Adults - Every one to two years up to age 40. Adults with diabetes,
high blood pressure, and other disorders should be seen annually. Adults
over 60 should be seen annually.