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While many people find it easy to put off an eye exam, it’s important to remember that prescriptions change over time. The only way to know when it’s time for a new one is to visit a vision professional on a regular basis. Several factors influence how often an individual should schedule those appointments. Here are some basics to keep in mind.


The General Recommendation

Vision professionals generally recommend that anyone who wears corrective lenses should undergo an examination at least once every two years. This is true even if the prescription seems to remain the same for several years at a time. Choosing to have an exam at least every couple of years increases the odds of identifying any changes or issues with eye health in time to take corrective action.


There are optometrists like those at All About Eyes who suggest that even annual exams are not out of the question. This is especially true when the patient’s prescription changes significantly or if there are signs of developing conditions that require more frequent attention. These more frequent visits provide the opportunity to determine if a simple updated prescription is needed or if the patient should be referred to an ophthalmologist.


Prescription Updates and Chronic Illnesses

Patients who live with chronic conditions are often encouraged to have their eyes checked frequently. Depending on how well the condition is managed, once a year may be sufficient to make any adjustments needed to the current prescription. As the illness progresses and there is more risk to visual acuity, an ophthalmologist or optometrist may recommend semi-annual visits. Whatever the schedule, the goal is to help the patient enjoy the best vision possible in spite of the chronic condition.

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People with type 1 or type 2 diabetes should undergo an examination at least once a year. Semi-annual exams may be recommended, depending on what the eye professional finds during the most recent visit. Many optometrists and all ophthalmologists are trained to identify any signs that the patient’s condition is beginning to affect the quality of vision and take the appropriate steps to minimize the impact. That may include some type of procedure and a new prescription. Choosing to schedule standing appointments with a professional is one of the best ways to ensure the level of eye health is monitored and maintained responsibly.


While taking proper care of the eyes is important for anyone, those who wear glasses or contact lenses should be especially diligent about updating prescriptions when the need arises. Regular visits to an eye professional will determine when it’s time for a new prescription and ensure the patient enjoys the highest level of visual acuity possible.