Our eyes are one of our most delicate organs, so it’s crucial that we take good care of them. An eye examination enables the detection of both existing and potential vision problems. To protect eye health over the short and long term, optometrists recommend you have your eyesight checked regularly. But don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you should have your eyes examined every month. In fact, many different aspects come into play when deciding on the frequency of eye exams.

Age a determining factor

Dr. Morggan Debaets, an optometrist with Opto-Réseau, recommends an annual eye examination for her patients under 18 years of age and over 65. Adults ages 18 to 64 are advised to see us every one or two years for this type of check-up.

For some, an eye examination serves as a simple screening, whereas for others it can reduce the risk of aggravating an existing condition. For example, if you already have eye health problems or if you are diabetic, you should have your eyes examined more often, based on the recommendation of your optometrist. In all cases, the objective is to protect your eyesight and prevent vision problems.

What happens during an eye exam?

Dr. Debaets explains the steps:

You’ll begin with a few short tests, during which different devices will be used to take different measurers of your eyes and your vision. If you wear prescription glasses, they too will be checked. Next, your optometrist will ask about the state of your overall health, your living habits, and your medical and family history in order to better understand your needs and any symptoms you may have. Your visual acuity will then be assessed to ascertain the degree of optical correction required, if any, to improve your vision. The ability of your eyes to work together and distinguish three-dimensional shapes will also be measured.

Following this, your optometrist will conduct a refraction test to determine whether there is any presence of myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and/or presbyopia. Finally, your ocular health will be evaluated to check for diseases that might affect your vision, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts. Imaging technology may be used to view the inside of your eyes, enabling early detection of eye disease and allowing your optometrist to better monitor your situation.

An eye examination may also reveal other diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high blood cholesterol levels.

At first glance, these steps may seem arduous, but this routine examination actually takes just 30 to 45 minutes of your time. We strongly encourage you to make an appointment if you’re due to have your eyes checked.