Vision is one of our most important senses. Regular eye exams are key in ensuring proper eye sight. Many eye diseases and conditions, like glaucoma and ocular complications from diabetes and high blood pressure, show no symptoms or changes in vision in their early stages. Regular eye exams allow your eye doctor to detect and manage diseases at the earliest possible opportunity, improving the likelihood for successful treatment. 

It is up to your eye care provider to determine the appropriate length of time between your eye exams but here some general guidelines for ” low risk” individuals:

  • Infants: should have their first eye exam at the age of 6 months and then at age 3 and then as recommended by your optometrist
  • School age -19 years: once every year or as recommended by your optometrist
  • Ages 20-40: once every two years (except for those with certain medical conditions and contact lens wearers)
  • Over 40: once every year as there is increased incidence of several conditions that can jeopardize sight
  • Eye exams may be recommended more frequently in the presence or concern of diseases like glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, ocular infections and retinal detachment as well as contact lens wearers

The recent onset of certain symptoms eg. blurry vision, loss of vision, floaters, flashing lights in peripheral vision and many more can indicate an ocular emergency and the need for immediate attention. When in doubt, always contact your eye doctor or a family physician so that appropriate action can be taken.

You should plan about one hour for your exam (adults). Kids’ eye exams can take 20 mins – 1 hour.

More than 80% of learning is done through the eyes. Often there are no signs that a child has vision problems making regular eye exams very important. Conditions like ‘lazy eye’ may be treated successfully if an optometrist diagnoses them early but can lead to permanent sight loss if untreated. Furthermore, young children do not have the experience to know what is normal as far as their vision is concerned. They often assume that everyone sees they way they do.

Eye exams can be done at any age even before your child knows how to speak- let alone the alphabet.

Vision screenings are not done frequently enough and do not replace a full eye exam. Also, 43% of children with vision problems are able to pass a vision screening.

  • Children aged 0-19 years: One full eye examination every year plus minor exams for emergencies such as pink eye.
  • Adults aged 20-64: Only those having certain ocular conditions or disease are covered by OHIP once year for eye exams. Please call our office for further inquiries.
  • Seniors (65+): Patients with certain eligible medical conditions can receive one exam every 12 months covered by OHIP. Seniors without an eligible medical condition can receive one exam every 18 months covered by OHIP.


Many private insurance plans cover eye exam fees, glasses and contact lens costs so be sure to check with your insurance provider.