How often should you have a sight test?

22nd March 2024
A lady checking someones eyes

You should have an eye test regularly. The frequency of eye examinations depends on the individual clinical needs of the person but there are recommended minimum intervals. 

For most people a test every two years is appropriate but for some it is important to be seen more frequently, for example, people over 40 with a direct family history of glaucoma, over 70s, under 16s and people with diabetes are seen annually. 

Regular eye exams can help detect any potential issues early on and ensure proper treatment. – a proactive way to maintain good eye health and prevent any serious complications. However, you should schedule an appointment sooner if there have been changes or concerns regarding your eye health.

Why do we need eye tests?

During an eye examination, the Optometrist will examine the inside and outside of your eyes using specialised equipment and techniques.

Tests performed can detect issues such as glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration that often do not exhibit any symptoms at early stages. 

Sight tests do not only check for the need for glasses they serve as a window into your overall health and wellbeing. Optometrists may detect signs of underlying conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Eye conditions are easier to treat when caught early and early detection is key. So, it is important to keep up with your appointments. 

When to go for an eye exam

Attend your regular sight tests at the interval appropriate to you. 

After your appointment, your Optometrist may advise you to return sooner or more frequently. This may be because your vision is changing quickly, or there is something they want to monitor. Taking this on board and visiting your Opticians according to the advice given is important.

If you notice a change in your vision or have a concern about your eye health, it’s time for an eye check-up by a professional. For instance, you might have trouble concentrating on the TV or find it tough to read road signs while driving. These are sure signs that an eye examination is due.

Is it the same for children?

Having a child’s sight test every year is good practice. Sometimes a child may need to be seen more frequently for example every 6 months, after seeing the child your Optometrist will be able to advise you of the appropriate interval. 

If you notice strange behaviour in a child that could be related to their eyesight, make sure to have it checked promptly.

Young children may not know what is normal for their vision. As a result, they may not realize if they have any vision problems. Which is why it is important to keep up to date with regular checks.

What happens during an eye exam? 

Optometrists will start by asking you some questions about your health, lifestyle and family history of eye problems. You should bring a list of any medications you take if applicable, your current glasses or a copy of your latest spectacles prescription. 

They will check what you can see close up and at a distance using special symbols or letter charts. Using a series of tests including lenses they will work out if you need new spectacles or a change in prescription. 

The Optometrist will examine your eye health using various techniques and equipment. Additional tests such as a peripheral vision test and an eye pressure test may also be required if deemed clinically necessary.  

Optometrists can tailor these eye exams depending on the level of care needed for each individual. Your health professional will guide you, so do not worry if you are unsure of the level of examination you need.

The equipment used by Optometrists will vary from practice to practice. Here at Dipple and Conway we use the latest advanced technology such as our Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) which is similar to an ultrasound but it uses light rather than sound waves to produce a 3D cross-sectional scan of the eye. Also, our Optomap ultra-wide machine can image up to 200 degrees of your retina in one photograph.

How long does a prescription last for

A spectacle prescription is usually valid for a maximum of two years. However, if you have a more complex prescription that changes frequently the expiration date may be shorter. 

Here at Dipple & Conway, we offer four types of eye exams, all available from our practice Optometrists. The types range from a standard examination to an enhanced test, premium enhanced and an extended examination. Higher packages include extra services such as OCT and OPTOS scans. 

Please book an appointment via our contact form, and we can discuss which test your eyes would benefit from. 

Posted by Dipple Conway

"I’m very impressed by the friendly and helpful attitude of the staff at Dipple and Conway, and by the very competent and professional service my optometrist provided. It really is a pleasure to ones eyes tested there."

Mike Lindsay
Optician Awards Finalist Investor in People The College of Optometrists British Contact Lens Association Association of Dispensing Opticians Best Family Business 2020

Book An Appointment

Appointment Reference

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and offers straight to your inbox. We take your privacy very seriously and we will never share your details with any third parties.

Your Details

Arrange Appointment