Eye Examinations for Adults

Topic Overview

Use the guidelines below to schedule routine vision checks and eye examinations with an ophthalmologist or optometrist.

For adults without vision problems:

  • Some experts do not recommend routine screening.
  • Starting at age 40, when presbyopia often develops, screening every 2 to 5 years may be appropriate.
  • Starting at age 50, some experts recommend yearly examinations for glaucoma and other age-related vision problems. Other experts recommend starting regular glaucoma screening at age 65.
  • For people with diabetes, experts recommend a yearly eye examination. If you have type 2 diabetes and your eye examination results are normal or you have a very small amount of retinopathy, your doctor may consider follow-up examinations every 1 to 2 years.footnote 1
  • For people with a disease that affects the eyes, yearly eye examinations may be appropriate.

For adults with refractive errors (nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism) or other eye problems:

  • At ages 19 to 40, have an eye examination every 2 years, or more often if needed.
  • At around age 40, or when signs of presbyopia develop, schedule an appointment.
  • At age 50 and older, have yearly eye examinations, or more often if needed.

For more information, see the topics Nearsightedness (Myopia), Farsightedness (Hyperopia), Strabismus (Cross-Eyes), Amblyopia (Lazy Eye), and Glaucoma.



  1. Canadian Diabetes Association Clinical Practice Guidelines Expert Committee (2013). Retinopathy and diabetes section of Canadian Diabetes Association 2013 clinical practice guidelines for the prevention and management of diabetes in Canada. Canadian Journal of Diabetes, 37(Suppl 1): S137–S141. Also available online: http://guidelines.diabetes.ca/.


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Christopher Joseph Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology

Current as ofDecember 3, 2017

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