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How Often Should You Have An Eye Exam?

Have you been getting by with drugstore glasses? While they are a quick and easy solution that may help you get by day-to-day, they're no substitute for a professional eye exam. Did you know that regardless of your age or physical health, routine eye exams are a very important part of preventative health care? During a complete eye exam, your eye doctor will not only determine your correct prescription for your eyeglasses or contact lenses but will also check for common eye diseases or disorders such as glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, along with other health risk factors such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Discovering these issues sooner rather than later makes them much easier to treat and manage, helping you maintain better long-term health for both you and your eyes.

To maintain a lifetime of healthy vision, it is recommended that adults have a comprehensive eye exam once every 1 to 2 years. For children, most eye care experts agree they should have their first comprehensive eye exam at 6-months of age, again at age 3 just before they enter the first grade, and annual eye exams for school-aged children (ages 6-19) if no vision correction is required.

What Happens During An Eye Exam?

During a complete eye exam, your optometrist will test your eyes for a range of things to screen for eye diseases, health risks, and ensure that you receive the right prescription for your eyesight. A complete eye exam should include many or all of the following:

  • A case history of your personal and family health history, medications, as well as any vision problems you may be experiencing.

  • An eye pressure test to rule out such eye problems like glaucoma.

  • An internal eye examination to check your eyes for indications of abnormalities or warning signs of possible health risks such as diabetes or hypertension.

  • A visual test to detect for the presence of nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism.

  • A visual evaluation with an eye chart to determine your distance and near vision, and how well your eyes work together and separately.

Depending on your age, risk factors or eye care needs, other tests may be required to adequately evaluate your vision needs.

Will My Benefits Cover My Eye Exam?

With 2021 just around the corner, now is a good time to check your extended health benefits through work (or other health insurance you may have) and see if you have coverage for eye examinations. A typical plan will usually provide one examination every two calendar years, but it is recommended you check your specific coverage first before booking your eye exam so you are prepared.

In British Columbia, children (up to the age of 18) and seniors (over the age of 65) can receive a portion of an annual eye exam covered by the province’s Medical Services Plan (MSP). For more details on what optical services are covered, please visit the MSP website.

Ready to book your next eye exam?

At Eye Plus, we provide optical services across Vancouver Island, serving patients in Nanaimo, Duncan and Port Alberni. To help get you prepared before your appointment with us, we put together a handy eye exam checklist on what you should bring and expect.

Book yourself in by giving us a call at 250 591 1018.

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