A Guide To Eye Exams For Every Age

A Guide To Eye Exams For Every Age

Eye health is for everyone. Whether you’re taking your child for their first eye exam or you’re getting your first eye exam after retirement, taking care of eye health increases your quality of life. Eye exams test people’s vision to ensure they have the right prescription for corrective lenses so they can see without strain, but eye exams also ensure that any eye conditions you may be developing are caught before they can progress. These eye conditions can start developing at any age, which is why people need to stay vigilant and remember the importance of eye exams throughout life.

What Eye Exams Will Look Like Throughout Your Life

Birth To 2 Years Old
Your child should receive their first eye exam before they turn two years old. This first eye exam is typically suggested around 6 months or after your baby is able to hold their head up without any help. This initial eye exam is largely used to ensure that your baby’s eyes are developing properly and that there are no serious eye conditions that occurred at birth or shortly after.

2 To 5 Years Old
Your child should receive another eye exam before they begin school. This exam will again check for any developing eye conditions common in children, but it will also determine if your child needs corrective lenses before starting school. Diagnosing any refractive errors before your child goes into preschool or kindergarten can help them succeed in the classroom. Even if children are young and have trouble expressing themselves, that’s ok; optometrists have methods for administering refractive error tests and can monitor eye health without the need for reading comprehension or extensive communication skills.

6 to 18 Years Old
During this period, children are rapidly growing and this can cause changes to the eyes. Children’s prescriptions can change frequently, which can impact their ability to perform in school and to participate in hobbies they enjoy. Between ages 6 and 18, children should receive annual eye exams to ensure their prescription stays up to date and to monitor their eye health. Eye exams are non-invasive and will require a variety of tests that use optometry equipment to look at the components of the eye as well as measure the eyes’ refraction abilities. Most of these will require the patient to focus on certain images so that the machines can take photos of the eye and test their focus and peripheral vision. Other tests will include the use of a Snellen chart and a phoropter to determine prescription.

18 to 35 Years Old
At this point, eyes are fairly developed and there shouldn’t be any extreme changes unless a person has a health condition that can affect their eyes (such as diabetes) or has already been diagnosed with an eye condition. Because of this, people between the ages of 18 and 35 are recommended to go for an eye exam every 2 years, although they may be ok to go every 3 years if needed. Eye exams should remain fairly similar to the eye exams the patient received as a teenager. If a person becomes pregnant, they are recommended to schedule an eye exam during their pregnancy.

35 to 65 Years Old
Between these ages, eye exams are recommended every 2 years. If you have any health complications (for example heart conditions) or changes in health (for example menopause) you may want to have more frequent eye exams. Eye exams will still be fairly similar to what you have already experienced, although your optometrist may also suggest using dilating drops so they can see your inner eye better. Your risk for developing certain eye conditions such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, and glaucoma tends to increase around age 50.

65 And Over
Once you are 65, it is recommended that you have regular annual eye exams. Many eye conditions typically develop after age 65 and many people tend to be on more medications at this point in their lives, which can affect eye health. You will still receive a visual acuity test and a refraction test just like you’ve received all of your life, and your optometrist will continue to look at your eye both manually and with an OCT scan and other equipment, but they may also have to do more extensive testing depending on any conditions you may have. You may have to undergo more glaucoma screening, as this condition is far more prominent in this age group.


Eye Exams For All Ages

Eye health and proper care know no age. To protect your eyes and to ensure your prescription is up-to-date, schedule an eye exam for you, your children, and your parents at Specs in the City. At our optometry clinic, we cater to all ages and offer children’s eye exams, adult eye exams, and senior eye exams so that you and your family are covered at all stages in life. To book an eye exam at Specs in the City, either call 1-403-252-2020 or fill out the online contact form to take control of your eye health and preserve your vision for years to come.



Q: Are eye exams covered by Alberta health insurance?
A: The Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) covers eye exams for children from birth to age 18 and people 65 years old and over.

Q: How long does a comprehensive eye exam take?
A: Your appointment will take less than an hour depending on which tests your eye doctor performs.

Q: What happens if my eye doctor detects an eye health problem during my exam?
A: Your optometrist will let you know if they detect any signs of any of these eye conditions and will develop a personalized treatment plan to help prevent any changes from occurring to your vision.

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