You will normally be guided by your optometrist as to how often you should have an eye test. But as a general rule two years is regarded as a safe interval. Those with chronic eye problems or fast changing prescriptions will require a yearly test, and may be recalled more often if the optometrist advises.
At what age should I have my first test?
There is no hard and fast rule here. Normally it is advisable to have your children checked before they start school. But if you are worried about your child’s vision or the cosmetic appearance or movement of your baby’s eyes do not hesitate to visit your optician for reassurance and advice. Your child/baby does not have to recognise letters or answer questions for a true assessment to be made.
Shall I wait until my vision appears to deteriorate?
Definitely not. The purpose of an eye exam is to check your eye health and as a secondary function provide you with a correction if necessary (around 70% of exams culminate in a changed or new prescription). The eye can suffer silently losing valuable vision for many months without you realising anything is the matter. Regular checks will pick up these insidious disorders and either arrest or reduce this vision loss. Don’t be wise after the event as you only have one pair of eyes in your life and care throughout your life will help you retain quality vision in later life.
Care for the elderly
Despite all sight tests being free to the over 60s it is worrying that many do not take up their right to an examination at precisely the time in life when vision problems can occur.