How Often Do I Need A Comprehensive Eye Exam?

How long has it been since you had an eye exam? If you can’t remember, that’s a sign that it’s been too long! Eye exams are crucial to maintaining good eye health. Your vision is important, so make sure you treat it that way!

It is important to get them at least once every 2 years. Certain things like age and other health risks change that number. When you’re young you can get away with having an eye exam every 4 years, but by the time you are 65, you may need one every year.

If you have diabetes or a family history of eye conditions, you’ll need eye exams more regularly.  Schedule an appointment at New England Vision in South Burlington, VT for your next eye exam! Keep reading to learn more about comprehensive eye exams!

What Goes Into An Eye Exam?

When you get an eye exam, you’ll likely be surrounded by instruments that you’ve never seen before. These instruments are used to help determine how you perceive your surroundings.

During an eye exam, you will be tested on your ability to see stationary objects, differentiate colors, and depth perception. These are all important parts of having healthy vision! Here are a few tests that you will most likely undergo during a standard eye exam.

Snellen Chart

You probably didn’t know the name of this test, but you will most likely recognize it. In media portrayals of an eye doctor, this is what is shown.

The Snellen chart is a poster with rows of letters going all the way down. It starts with a large letter at the top and ends with a long line of tiny letters at the bottom. As you go down the Snellen chart, the long lines of letters get smaller and longer.  

This chart tests your visual acuity. The doctor has you sit in a chair 20 feet away from the graph and will have you try to identify as many letters as possible. The more lines you can identify, the better your vision is.

Eye Movement

Besides the Snellen chart, you will also be tested to see how well you can track an object in motion. You will be asked to follow a light or an object (sometimes the doctor’s hand) while holding your head still.

The doctor will observe your eye movements. If your eye motion is not smooth, it could be causing eye strain. This is something that needs to be treated, as eye strain is not good for your eye health!


To figure out your prescription, the doctor must test you with a refraction. He or she will use a phoropter, which is a tool that allows you to see a series of lenses. Your eye doctor will then ask you which lenses are clearest to you. Based on your answers, your eye doctor can determine what is your prescription!

If it’s been a few years since your last eye exam, it may be time to schedule one! Contact New England Vision for an appointment today!

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