Do You Need an Annual Eye Exam?

Author: Premier Eye Associates

Healthy individuals without other eye conditions should have a routine eye health exam every year. This annual eye exam is important to assess if the vision has changed, evaluate for glasses, and screen for eye diseases.

If diseases are identified early, or before there are noticeable symptoms, the overall prognosis is much better and there is less likely to be vision loss. Also, routine eye health exams can help monitor systemic health conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure.

Even if there are no conditions identified, having a baseline to compare to if a problem arises can be helpful to compare back to.


Who Should Have Annual Eye Exams?

Eye exams should be done routinely for all ages, with the first exam beginning before the age of one.

After the first exam, a healthy child should have another exam at age two or three, and then again before beginning school.

After school is started, eye exams should be done regularly every year through adulthood.

Adults should continue to have annual eye health exams.

With age, the risk of developing eye diseases increases and should be monitored closely.

Generally, anyone over the age of five should have routine eye exams every  year or every other year.


What is Done at a Routine Eye Exam?

A routine eye exam will include several key elements including checking the vision using a visual acuity chart for both distance and near, a refraction to determine if glasses are needed, an assessment of the binocular vision system, and an evaluation of the health of the eyes.

Visual acuity is the measure of how well one can see with or without glasses. Using an eye chart, this gives important information about how well the eyes are functioning.

A refraction is done using lenses or a phoropter to assess whether or not glasses or contact lenses could improve the vision and visual function.

In all routine eye exams, a basic binocular vision assessment is performed to check the alignment of the eyes, how well the eyes are moving together, and how well the eyes are able to fixate on a central target.

The final aspect of a routine eye exam is a screening of eye health including the front and back structures of the eyes. Diseases of the cornea, iris, lens, vitreous, retina, and optic nerve are able to be identified and diagnosed.


Eye Conditions Which Can be Detected at a Routine Exam

There are countless eye diseases and conditions which can be detected in a routine eye examination before the condition causes symptoms that are noticeable.

Among these conditions are glaucoma, keratoconus, cataracts, macular degeneration, and amblyopia.

By detecting and identifying these conditions early, the treatment can be initiated and the best possible prognosis can be provided.


Overall Health Concerns Detected at a Routine Eye Exam

While many eye conditions are able to be identified in an eye exam, there are also many health conditions which impact the entire body that can be first seen in the eyes during an eye exam.

Diabetes, high blood pressure, hyper or hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, and many others can be identified in an eye exam.



Dr. Anthony Spina and the staff of Premier Eye Associates specialize in glasses, soft contact lenses, hard contact lenses, and medical eye exams. Call our eye doctor in Auburn, AL today at (334) 539-5391 or schedule an appointment online if you are interested in annual eye exams.  Our optometrist provides only the highest quality eye care services amongst eye doctors in the Auburn Alabama area.


Proud Members

Auburn-Opelika’s Best Eye Doctor by the OA News Reader’s Choice