Thinking about an eye exam in Olympia? How often should you have a comprehensive eye exam?

Published on
November 29, 2022

In this blog, we will discuss how often you should have a comprehensive eye exam. During a comprehensive eye exam, we not only check your vision and need for glasses but we also monitor your ocular health, monitor any eye diseases, allergies, infections, eye movements and motor skills. We diagnose, manage, and treat certain neurological vision deficits as well.

In short an eye exam is not only about getting an updated prescription of your glasses and contact lenses, it is also a routine health examination to ensure that you stay healthy and address any symptoms that impact your quality of vision and life. 


Should a baby have an eye exam? 

Our eye doctors recommend having a newborn baby's eyes checked at least once during their first year, especially when they're six to 12 months old, to screen for any potential eye problems or diseases.

And then usually in the next few years, we can space it out. It doesn’t have to be every year unless they have an eye condition and they are being monitored for it.


When should my child have a pediatric eye exam? 

It is very important to get your child’s eyes checked at least once before starting school to make sure that there’s nothing that’s going to be holding them back in school and they read and write at their age level.

It is estimated that 1 out of every 5 school aged children will have a vision problem that impacts their learning. As a child begins to read the visual demands change and aspects of their vision that were not critical at an early age, become extremely important to ensure their success at school. For example many children have difficulties keeping their eyes focused on something close up for extended periods of time, this visual skill is critical for reading. Another common visual skill that can impact a child's ability to read at grade level is the ability to accurately and smoothly track their eyes across a sentence without losing their place. At American Family Vision Clinic, we offer advanced developmental eye exams that are more intensive than a traditional eye exam and examine all aspects of vision that are critical for the child's stage of development. 


If my teen does not wear glasses do they need an eye exam? If they wear glasses how often should they get an eye exam? 

For patients under 18, we recommend having a comprehensive eye exam every year if they wear prescription glasses or contacts. Even if they feel that their glasses or contact lenses are fine, it is important to assess the changes to their vision and that they are able to perform visually at the level needed for the classroom. For a teen that does not have a prescription for glasses or contact lenses and is not experiencing any problems with their vision it is recommended that they have a comprehensive eye exam every 2 years to assess their overall eye health and vision. 


How often should a healthy adult get an eye exam? 

Usually, if you are between the ages of 18 and 65, it is acceptable to get an eye exam every two years unless you have an eye condition, are at high risk for eye diseases such as having high blood pressure or diabetes, or if you experience any symptoms that impact your quality of life or vision. In that case, you would want to see your eye doctor annually or as frequently as they suggest.

As a person ages their likelihood of developing vision threatening conditions increases dramatically and the need to schedule more frequent eye exams increases. According to the American Optometric Association, people over the age of 65 should have a comprehensive eye exam every year to make sure that there are no changes in their vision or eye health.


Who needs to have eye exams more frequently?

More frequent testing is required for those with higher risk factors, such as:

  • Individuals with a family history of glaucoma or diabetes who are prone to ocular diseases
  • Steroid users or those taking other medications that may impair vision
  • A person who wears prescription glasses or contact lenses
  • A person who has a history of eye injury or eye surgery


Important note

All of these timelines are just general. If you have diabetes or an eye condition like macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, dry eye etc, that can change how often you should have a comprehensive eye exam. In the event that you start noticing sudden changes in your vision like floaters, flashes, sudden onset of blurriness, double vision, bulging eyes, difficulty reading, visual disturbance of any kind, it is vital to see your eye doctor sooner than your annual eye exam to get it checked so that we could make sure your eyes are healthy and it doesn’t lead to a serious eye condition.


Schedule an eye exam in Olympia Washington

Patients searching for comprehensive eye care for all ages and advanced medical eye care visit our clinic from all over Washington, and we are proud to be a leading provider of routine, medical, and functional eye exams and medical eye care services for patients from Olympia, Lakewood, Tacoma, and Lacey. Schedule an eye exam today in Olympia by calling us at (360) 491-2121.


Such a nice optician. My grandson is only 4 and needs glasses. We were so sad, but he explained the issues, and we will follow up as he suggested.

Anna P.

I had such a good experience with the clinic. Very friendly staff and doctor, did not have to wait for long to be called, and was treated respectfully. Thanks, American Family.

June S.

Dr. Zurcher has gone above and beyond what any other eye doctor has ever done to figure out what is going on with my eyes. Very happy with American Family Vision.

Christine R.

Family Vision Clinic changed our lives! My daughter was frequently car sick, and she was getting headaches every day, often painful enough that they brought her to tears. We saw a string of doctors and therapists, but we made no progress. Finally, we found Dr. Levi Zurcher and his eye therapist Rain. After ten weeks of eye therapy my daughter no longer gets headaches, and she no longer gets car sick. Daily tears are a thing of the past. I really can’t say enough about this clinic. It was fascinating to watch Dr. Zurcher work. For the first time, someone who knew what they were doing was intently studying my daughter, really trying to figure out all of her eye issues, and his therapist Rain is one of the most patient and lovely people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. We’re finished with eye therapy—yay!—and I have switched to American Family Vision Clinic for all of my family’s other eye health needs.

Lars Wulff

Very professional, yet kind and helpful. They do what they can to make the appointment comfortable. I was running a bit late, I made sure ti call. They were able to switch me with a patient who was already there, they treated me with respect, and helped my son have confidence by getting him the eye care he needed that day. Thank you so much! Would recommend to anyone. It's a blessing that they care enough to work with people who have all different types of insurance from work to state coverage.

Justin E.

The staff is friendly. The Doc is very knowledgeable. The office is family friendly and everyone is so patient with the little ones.

Amy Fagerness
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