Information on Eye Exams

Your Vision 101: Cost and Frequency of an Eye Exam

An eye exam is necessary to evaluate your eye’s health. It includes a series of typically painless procedures wherein you may be asked to look through lenses or other instruments. Your doctor may even shine bright lights into your eyes. All these things are conducted to evaluate the clarity of your vision.

Going through a routine eye exam can help you determine vision problems at their earliest stage, when you can still treat them. Your eye doctor can prescribe prescription lenses or other treatment, as well as give you more tips as to how to take care of your eyes in the future.
These things being said, here are a few things you should know about eye exams.

Where to Get Them

You can get your eyes checked at various places, depending on your budget. For instance, you can go directly to a privately practicing ophthalmologist, or to a multidisciplinary medical clinic. You can even get your vision checked at an optical shop or an optical retailer, provided that they have an optometrist on board. Even Walmart, Target, or Costco can have optical departments.
However, the cost of eye checkups vary, depending on where you get them. It can range from $50 to $250, with the prices varying depending on the professional conducting your exam (ophthalmologist vs. optometrist), the tests that you went through, and if it included contact lens fitting.

Nevertheless, once you know your current vision, your doctor would be able to give you the right prescription so that you would be able to see clearly the moment you put on your new glasses or contact lenses.
When to Get Them

This aspect of getting eye exams depends on your age and family history. For instance, if both your parents are wearing eye glasses, or if your family has a history of vision problems, then you should have eye exam routinely. Other than that, here is a rough guide about when to go in for an eye exam:

  • 0 to 5 – Only evident eye problems (such as crossed eyes or lazy eyes) are visible in children under the age of 3. Once children is between the ages of 3 to 5 however, and you suspect that they may need prescription glasses, then they might be able to cooperate with a full eye exam.
  • 6 to 18 – Most parents would want to have the vision of their children checked before they begin first grade. From there, they could have their eyes rechecked every two years or so if there is a family history of vision problems, particularly if the child is complaining of frequent headaches. If there is no history of vision problems in the family however, then the tests would occur as they are recommended by your physician.
  • Adults – As we age, our eye sight tends to deteriorate. To avoid this, get regular eye exams as they are recommended by your physician. You should get your eyes checked every year if you are above the age of 65, and at least one every five to 10 years if you are under the age of 30.