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Eye examination intervals

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Updates

The major public and population health benefits of regular eye examinations are widely understood. For example, eye examinations ensure early detection of diseases and help prevent sight loss. They also enable people to see well, improving quality of life, and reduce the risk of falls.

  • “Most people should have their eyes examined at least every two years, depending on their clinical circumstances.” College of Optometrists [1]
  • “Healthy adults who do not notice anything obviously wrong with their eyes should still have their eyes tested every two years”. Irish College of Ophthalmologists [2]

There is a longstanding and agreed clinical principle that eye examination intervals should be a matter of clinical judgement based on an assessment of the patient’s needs. Optometrists are best placed to decide whether a patient needs and eye examination. Most adults will be recalled every two years for an eye examination and people at higher risk of avoidable sight loss or who have more specific needs will be recalled more often. In addition to this, patients with concerns and symptoms should contact their eye care provider without delay [3-7].

Updates

Originally published: 1 May 2021

Next review date: 1 May 2025

Reference and notes

 

[1] College of Optometrists, The eye examination, how often should I have my eyes tested? https://lookafteryoureyes.org/eye-examinations/the-eye-examination/

[2] Irish College of Ophthalmologists, Eye Health: What you should know to help protect your vision. https://www.eyedoctors.ie/medium/images/ICO_Vision_book2_(3)-z.pdf

[3] European Council of Optometry and Optics, Guidelines for optometric and optical services in Europe https://www.ecoo.info/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Guidelines-for-Optometric-and-Optical-Services-in-Europe.pdf

[4] College of Optometrists, Professional Guidance: Knowledge, skills and performance; The routine eye examination; Frequency of eye examinations, A53.

[5] College of Optometrists, Professional Guidance: Knowledge, skills and performance; The routine eye examination; Frequency of eye examinations, A55

[6] College of Optometrists, Professional Guidance: Knowledge, skills and performance; The routine eye examination; Frequency of eye examinations, A57 and A58.

[7] College of Optometrists, Professional Guidance: Knowledge, skills and performance; The routine eye examination; Frequency of eye examinations, A65 and A66.