Why Regular Eye Exams Are Essential for Maintaining Healthy Vision

Posted by: Missouri Eye Institute in Blog on April 23, 2024

If you wear glasses or contacts, regular eye exams are important for keeping your prescription up to date. However, this isn’t the only reason to see an eye doctor. 

Like every other part of the body, the eyes can develop certain conditions. When these happen, it can affect your vision, which can affect your quality of life.

Some serious but treatable eye conditions don’t cause symptoms right away, so you might not know anything is wrong. With routine eye exams, your eye doctor can potentially detect certain eye conditions early enough to begin treatment and prevent vision loss.

Keep reading to learn more about why regular eye exams are essential for maintaining healthy vision!

What Happens During an Eye Exam?

For most people, eye exams are easy and simple medical appointments. There is typically nothing you need to do to prepare; you just have to arrive for your appointment with your glasses or contacts. 

You will be able to sit comfortably the whole time, and all the tests are painless and non-invasive. During an eye exam, your eye doctor will perform several tests:


You’ll cover one eye at a time and read a letter chart. This tells your doctor if you need glasses or contacts to improve your vision. 

In addition, your eye doctor will have you look in different directions to see how well your eye muscles work and check your peripheral vision.


If you need corrective lenses, your eye doctor will do refraction. This is a process where you look through different powers of lenses and tell your eye doctor which lens provides the clearest vision. 

Refraction is how your eye doctor determines your exact prescription. 

Dilated Eye Exam

Your eye doctor will give you special drops to dilate your pupils. Once they’re dilated, you’ll sit in front of a special microscope that will allow your eye doctor to look at the different parts of your eye. 

This allows your eye doctor to examine your eyes for physical changes that might indicate glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, or corneal disorders. 

How Often Should I Have Eye Exams?

If you wear glasses or contacts, your eye doctor will usually recommend that you come in every year to check your vision and make any necessary changes to your glasses or contacts. If you are over fifty-five, have conditions such as diabetes, or a risk of conditions like glaucoma or macular degeneration, you should have an eye exam every one to two years.

People under the age of fifty-five who don’t have other risk factors for eye conditions should have an eye exam every two to four years. You can talk to your eye doctor about your eye health and how often you should have a comprehensive eye exam. 

If you have any sudden changes to your vision, unusual symptoms, or an injury to your eyes, you should see your eye doctor as soon as possible. 

Is it time for you to have an eye exam? Schedule an appointment at Missouri Eye Institute in Springfield, MO, today!


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