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Eye Examinations

Eye examinations are performed to evaluate all aspects of your vision. You should never assume that a vision test performed by someone at the Department of Motor Vehicles, school screenings, or by your family doctor, is an eye examination. It is not. Eye examinations should be performed by Certified Eye Care Professionals.

When you go to get an eye examination, it is important to understand that the doctor is doing more than checking for impaired vision. They are also checking to see if you have any signs of eye disease, or if they see any other problems that could lead to future loss of vision. Having eye exams on a regular basis is a preventative practice that should be taken as seriously as other routine, annual exams.

There are many eye diseases that have no noticeable symptoms in their early stages. For instance, diabetic eye disease may have no early signs. Yet, there may be swelling of the macula and small leaks from blood vessels in the eye which an eye doctor can detect. If not detected, it could lead to permanent vision loss. Eye doctors can also tell if you are showing symptoms of other diseases or conditions simply by looking into your eyes. Your eye can show signs of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and more.

Whatever your age, no matter how strong your eyesight is, one of the best things you can do for your eyes is keep up with regularly scheduled eye examinations.

How Often Should I Get My Eyes Checked?

Patient Age

Examination Interval



Birth to 24 months

By 6 months of age

By 6 months of age or as recommended

2 to 5 years

At 3 years of age

At 3 years of age or as recommended

6 to 18 years

Before first grade and every two years thereafter

Annually or as recommended

19 to 40 years

Every one to two years

Every one to two  years or as recommended

41 to 60 years

Every two years

Every one to two years or as recommended

61 and older


Annually or as recommended

What Tests Will the Eye Doctor Perform?

Eye exams begin with your doctor asking a series of questions about your medical history and eye health. A series of tests will then be performed to evaluate eye function and health.

In evaluating visual function, tests are administered to determine how well the eyes work together, depth perception, and eye muscle balance and coordination. Only by examining the visual system properly can an exact eyeglass prescription be determined.

The eye health examination involves viewing both the internal and external tissues of the eye. The eye doctor will check eye pressures to determine risk factors for glaucoma and perform a thorough evaluation of the inside of the eye using dilating drops. Dilation allows the doctor to better view the inside of the eye to determine the presence of cataracts and effectively screen you for serious sight threatening diseases such as macular degeneration, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

What Conditions Can an Eye Exam Diagnose?

The following is a list of common eye conditions that can be detected during the different phases of an eye exam. You can learn more about the conditions by clicking on them.

Serving clients in Northwest Metro Minnesota including the communities of Albertville St. Michael Otsego Hannover Wright County

Albertville Eye Care, 2011

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