Get Your Eyes Tested

The Basics
Your vision changes as you get older. Regular eye exams can help your doctor find eye problems early when they may be easier to treat.

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Find out about the signs and symptoms of eye problems.

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The Basics

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Get an eye exam regularly to help find problems early, when they may be easier to treat. The doctor will also do tests to make sure you are seeing as clearly as possible.

How often do I need an eye exam?
How often you need an eye exam depends on your risk for eye disease. Talk to your doctor about how often to get your eyes tested.

Get an eye exam every 1 to 2 years if you:

People with diabetes may need eye exams more often.
If you have diabetes, it's important to get your eyes tested at least once a year. Talk to your doctor about what’s right for you.

What happens during an eye exam?

Learn more about:

Am I at risk for a vision problem?
As you get older, your eyes change – and this increases your chance of developing a vision problem. You may be at higher risk if one of your parents had a vision problem, like needing to wear glasses.

Common vision problems are:

Read more about these common vision problems.

See an eye doctor right away if your vision changes suddenly.

Am I at risk for eye disease?
Getting older increases your risk for certain eye diseases. You may be at higher risk if you have diabetes or high blood pressure – or if you have a family history of diabetes or eye disease.

Eye diseases like glaucoma can lead to vision loss and blindness if they aren’t caught and treated early.

Depending on your age and medical history, the doctor may look for eye problems that are common in older adults, including:

What's the difference between a vision screening and an eye exam?
A vision screening is a short checkup for your eyes. It usually happens during a regular doctor visit. Vision screenings can only find certain eye problems.

An eye exam takes more time than a vision screening, and it’s the only way to find some types of eye disease.

There are 2 kinds of doctors that can perform eye exams:

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Protect your vision. Get regular eye exams so you can find problems early, when they may be easier to treat.

Schedule an eye exam.
Ask your doctor or health center for the name of an eye care professional. Or use these  tips for finding an eye doctor.

When you go for your exam, be sure to:

For more help, go through this checklist for your eye doctor appointment. External Links Disclaimer Logo

What about cost?
Check with your insurance plan about costs and co-payments.

Medicare covers eye exams for:

If you don’t have insurance, look for free or low-cost eye care programs where you live.

Tell a doctor about problems.
See an eye doctor right away if you have any of these problems:

Check out the signs and symptoms of eye problems. External Links Disclaimer Logo

Get regular physical exams.
Get regular checkups to help you stay healthy. Ask your doctor or nurse how you can prevent type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. These diseases can cause eye problems if they aren’t treated.

Lower your risk of falling.
Poor vision or the wrong glasses can increase your risk of falling. More than 1 in 4 older adults fall each year. Falling can cause serious injuries and health problems, especially for people over age 65. Learn how to lower your risk of falling.

Start Today: Small Steps

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