How Often Should You Have Your Eyes Examined?

You may have heard that you should have your eyes examined every two years, and while this is not wrong per se, this is a somewhat outdated rule that does not ring true for every person.

While seeing an eye doctor every two years for a checkup is still a good general guideline, how often you should get your eyes checked is largely dependent on factors like age, medical conditions, injuries, family history of eye issues, or whether you currently wear prescription eyewear.

Some people, for example, may need to see an eye care professional every year, while others may not need to for five or more years at a time. Whether you are looking to see an eye doctor in Vancouver or in Toronto, the same rings true. There is no one-timeline-fits-all for an eye examination, but there are general guidelines for each age group to consider. Seeing is believing, and, more often than not, this departs from the general two-year timeline you keep hearing about.


It is generally advised that Children undergo their first eye exam around the age of six months. They generally do not need to undergo another eye examination until at least the age of three.

After that, it is recommended that a child undergo an eye examination before starting school, at whatever age. An eye examination is recommended before schooling begins because, according to a study by UCLA, an estimated 80 percent of classroom learning is done visually.

From that point onward, it is recommended to follow the general guideline of taking your child for an eye examination every two years until the age of 18.

This timeline, of course, does not account for any child with existing vision problems, as their timeline will alter. They may need their first examination before six months and require more frequent checkups through their childhood at their doctor’s advice.


While most adults between 18-60 should undergo an eye exam every two years, adults considered “at-risk” require more frequent visits. Those who fall into this risk category can include:

· Those with a family history of macular degeneration, glaucoma, or other eye diseases

· A known medical condition such as high blood pressure or diabetes

· Eye injuries or recovery from surgery such as laser or cataract surgery

· Taking medications that have side effects of eye issues.

At-risk doesn’t always have to mean medical issues either. Those in the at-risk category also include those in visually straining jobs, such as those involving extended computer screen time or involving bright lights.


While the guidelines for seniors visiting an eye doctor are very much similar to visiting them as an adult, it is recommended these visits are annual rather than every two years. This is because new conditions can arise faster during older age, as can other issues that are more easily treated when discovered as quickly as possible.

No matter your age or the time of your last checkup, it is important to consult an eye doctor if you have any doubts or concerns you may have, just to be on the safe side.

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