Maybe you have not been to the eye doctor in great deal of time, or you are starting to experience vision problems for the first time. Scheduling routine eye exams is important for your eye health, and the American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends for adults to have a complete eye exam every one to three years. The frequency of your appointments depends on age, physical condition, and other risk factors.
Children are recommended to have eye exams more frequently, as their eyes are going through their most developmental stages during this time. Experts say that children should have their eyes examined when they are 6 months old, when they are 3 years old, and again when they begin school. Children who need corrective lenses should continue to have exams every year, and if they do not have vision problems they should have routine check ups every 2 years.
Experts from the AOA recommend for adults to have eye exams every year if they wear glasses or contact lenses. Adults without vision problems should still continue to attend an eye exam every two to three years, but adults over the age of 60 should have eye doctor visits annually to check for disorders that may occur as a result of aging.
There are two types of eye doctors that people visit to get their eyes examined: Optometrists and ophthalmologists. Which one you visit will depend on the severity of your eye condition.
Optometrists can prescribe eyeglasses and contacts, and can also treat eye conditions with medicines and eye drops. Optometrists undergo four or more years of training after receiving their bachelor degrees, and they are not licensed to perform eye surgery.
Ophthalmologists go through 8 years of extensive training after receiving their bachelor degrees. Along with prescribing eyeglasses and contacts, Ophthalmologists are licensed to conduct eye surgeries and treat any medical eye conditions.
The cost of an eye exam varies significantly based on the type of office that you visit. For instance, a discount optical store is going to charge less for their services than a surgical office. Another aspect that changes the the rate of cost is whether you visit an optometrist or opthamologist, and the types of services that are included in the exam.
For the most part, contact lens exams cost more than regular eye exams. Special treatments such as laser eye correction or vision therapy will also add more to the overall cost of your eye exam.
The majority of insurance plans will cover at least a percentage of your regular eye exam costs. Make sure to check with your insurance provider what costs will be covered before your exam, and also what eye doctors in your area accept your plan before making the appointment. Be sure to give the eye doctor’s office a copy of your insurance information to verify that you will be covered.
Come prepared with some basic information and your insurance card if you are using it for a portion of the appointment cost. Bring any contacts, prescription eyeglasses, or reading glasses you use regularly. Also do not forget to bring a list of the medications and nutritional supplements you take, as well as a list of any questions you may have for the doctor.