A common question patients ask us is: ‘Are yearly eye exams necessary?’ While your age, medical history, ocular health, and vision concerns play roles in the frequency of when you should see an eye doctor, we recommend an annual eye appointment in general for everyone ages 6 and older.
A yearly eye exam allows an Independent Doctor of Optometry to:
- Test your eyesight
- Update your prescription
- Fit you for glasses or contact lenses
- Investigate for health problems (e.g., diabetes and high blood pressure)
Every eye appointment also gives you a chance to communicate with your eye doctor about your vision, including any changes that you’ve noticed. Often, the symptoms that you experience can provide key insight into your eye health, which can help during your eye examination tests.
So, how long do eye appointments take? Let’s see what our optical team has to say.
How long do eye appointments take?
Knowing how long an eye appointment takes can help you save time by enabling you to prepare beforehand. To accelerate the check-in process, have your insurance card and photo I.D. handy. You’ll also want to carry a quick list of your family medical history and vision loss symptoms to discuss with your eye doctor.
If you have a refractive error (e.g., astigmatism, hyperopia, myopia, or presbyopia), the eye doctor may recommend special eyewear to help with your symptoms. For instance, multifocal contact lenses are a common type of eyewear for people with multiple prescriptions. And if you have one refractive error, you’ll more than likely have another at some point.
People with astigmatism, for example, are often farsighted or nearsighted, too. Having several refractive errors is nothing to worry about. You’ll just want to ensure you get your eyes checked by an eye doctor every year to get your visual needs taken care of.
If an hour to an hour and a half appointment is too difficult for you during the workweek, we recommend booking an eye exam on your day off. Many of our optical locations have walk-in availability, and most of our eye doctors are open on Saturday or Sunday. We’re happy to help you find an appointment slot that best fits your schedule.
What happens during a typical eye examination procedure?
There are two types of eye exams, including a comprehensive eye exam and a contact lens exam. A contact lens exam can last a little longer than an eye exam since there are some additional tests required before the eye doctor can prescribe contacts.
Standard eye examination tests for a comprehensive eye exam include a vision test, pupil test, eye movement test, eye pressure test, slit lamp exam, and dilated pupillary exam. During a contact lens exam, the eye doctor may also perform corneal topography and a tear film evaluation to ensure contacts are a good fit.
The eye appointment may last longer if contacts are suitable for your eyes. Your optometrist will take extra time to instruct you on how to insert and remove your new lenses, as well as how to keep them clean.
Summary: How long does an eye exam last?
Comprehensive eye exams and contact lens exams require many tests to give your optometrist the best look at your eye and vision health. How long do eye appointments take? A basic eye exam lasts for at least an hour and up to an hour and a half.
Contact lens exams can take longer since there are additional steps and tests needed during the eye examination procedure, such as corneal topography. Either way, knowing what to expect at the appointment can help you be prepared.
Are you ready to see an eye doctor? Our team would be happy to assist with your eye care needs. Give your local For Eyes a call today to book an eye exam with an Independent Doctor of Optometry.