Several factors may determine how frequently you need an eye exam, including your age, health and risk of developing eye problems. General guidelines are as follows:

Children 3 years and younger

For children under 3, your pediatrician will likely look for the most common eye problems — lazy eye, crossed eyes or misaligned eyes. If there are eye concerns or symptoms, an examination is appropriate at that time regardless of age. Your child could undergo a more comprehensive eye exam between the ages of 3 and 5.

School-age children and adolescents

Have your child’s vision checked before he or she enters first grade. If your child has no symptoms of vision problems and no family history of vision problems, have his or her vision rechecked every one to two years. Otherwise, schedule eye exams based on the advice of your eye doctor.

Adults

In general, if you are healthy and you have no symptoms of vision problems, have your eyes checked on this schedule:

  • 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 one to two years after age 65

Have your eyes checked more often if you:

  • Wear glasses or contact lenses
  • Have a family history of eye disease or loss of vision
  • Have a chronic disease that puts you at greater risk of eye disease, such as diabetes
  • Take medications that have serious eye side effects