Vision Screening and Eye Exams for Adults
If you know that you are not at risk for eye disease and you don't have signs of vision problems, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends a complete eye exam to check for eye disease and vision problems:footnote 1
- Every 5 to 10 years if you are younger than 40.
- Every 2 to 4 years if you are age 40 to 54. (Starting at age 40, presbyopia is likely to develop.)
- Every 1 to 3 years if you are age 55 to 64.
- Every 1 to 2 years if you are age 65 or older.
Your eye doctor may also suggest that you get exams more often just to check for refractive errors, such as nearsightedness or farsightedness.
If you are at risk for or have signs of eye disease, such as glaucoma or age-related macular degeneration, you may need complete eye exams more often.
For people who have diabetes, experts recommend a yearly eye exam.
After reviewing all of the research, the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) concluded that more evidence is needed to find out if the pros outweigh the cons of routine visual acuity screening in older adults.footnote 2
- Chuck RS, et al. (2021). Comprehensive adult medical eye evaluation preferred practice Pattern®. Ophthalmology, 128(1): P1–P29. DOI: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2020.10.024. Accessed May 19, 2022.
- U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (2016). Screening for impaired visual acuity in older adults: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. JAMA, 315(9): 908–914. DOI:10.1001/jama.2016.0763. Accessed May 27, 2016.
Current as of: January 24, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine