How often should I have an eye exam?

man with eye focus box detail over glasses and linesConsidering how important good vision is to each of us, it’s somewhat disconcerting how rarely many people choose to have their eyes examined. People often go a decade or more without having their eyes checked, particularly if they have good vision. This is taking a big gamble that could dramatically change your life if you lose. Particularly after the age of 40, sight-robbing conditions such as glaucoma can sneak up without you knowing it.

That’s why we tell our patients from all around the Portland area that we need to see them on a regular schedule at The Eye Clinic. It’s not as important when you are a young adult, but as the years pile up, so does the potential for certain vision robbing conditions such as glaucoma.

In this blog with maybe few tulips starting to come up through the wet garden soil, let’s go into timelines you should follow for your eye exams with Dr. Wilkins or Dr. Donohue at The Eye Clinic.

Here’s a timeline to not blink at

Here is the timeline from the American Optometric Association (AOA) for when everyone should get an eye exam:

  • Children 5 years and younger — Children under three should see a pediatrician to check for the most common eye problems, such as lazy eye. Otherwise, children between 3 and 5 should see a pediatric ophthalmologist for an eye exam. At The Eye Clinic, we typically see children ages 10 and older, unless by special referral or arrangement.
  • School-age children and teens — Your child needs his or her vision checked before they enter first grade. From there, vision should be checked every one or two years to be sure their refraction/vision correction prescription hasn’t changed.
  • Adults — If you don’t have vision problems and don’t have a family history of eye disease, this is the schedule for adults:
    • Every five to 10 years in your 20s and 30s
    • Every two to four years from 40 to 54
    • Every one to three years from 55 to 64
    • Every year after age 65

These adult numbers should increase in frequency if you wear glasses or contact lenses, if you have a family history of eye disease, or if you have a chronic disease that can affect your eyes, such as diabetes.

How long does an eye exam take?

Our comprehensive eye exams take about one hour.

Will I need to get my eyes dilated during my eye exam?

Modern ophthalmoscopes allow better examination of the retina at the back of the eye, so we don’t usually need to dilate the eyes of the patient. However, sometimes he still needs to do so to allow more detailed view of the retina.

Can I drive after my eye exam?

Yes, you can drive yourself home. As mentioned above, if you did need dilation, you can still drive. You’ll simply need good sunglasses because your eyes will be more sensitive to sunlight for up to 24 hours.

Is it time for your regular eye exam at The Eye Clinic? Call us at (503) 297-4718 to schedule your appointment.

Posted in: Eye Care


Regarding COVID-19

For your safety and that of our community, please note the changes to the hospital and clinic.

  • If you are not well or have been sick in the past week, please call so we can triage any ocular symptoms and reschedule your appt.
  • Please arrive no more than 10 mins before your appt. If you arrive early, you may be asked to wait in your car, as we have limited waiting area seating.
  • Please bring only one attendant to your appointment.
  • Bring and wear a mask (both patient and attendant) while in the hospital and clinics.

Read what our patients are saying!

” I am very satisfied with my experience at The Eye Clinic today. The check-in was smooth and I did not have to wait at all. Valerie was professional, efficient and very nice. I’ve known Dr. Wilkins for years and I continue to trust his care and expertise. He is remarkable! “

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St. Vincent: 503.297.4718