Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

If you're having problems with your vision, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor as soon as possible, even if you've recently had an eye exam. Blurred vision may suggest you need a prescription change or have a more serious eye problem that may need treatment.

Presbyopia is diagnosed by a basic eye exam, which is generally administered by an ophthalmologist or an optometrist. A complete eye exam involves a series of tests. Your eye doctor likely will put drops in your eyes to dilate your pupils, which may make your eyes more light sensitive for a few hours after the exam. Dilation enables your doctor to more easily evaluate the inside of your eyes.

Your doctor may use various instruments, aim bright lights at your eyes and request that you look through an array of lenses to test your distance and close-up vision. Each test allows your doctor to evaluate a different aspect of your vision.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) recommends that you have a complete eye exam beginning at age 40 if you have no other risk factors for eye disease and don't need to wear glasses or contact lenses. After that the AAO recommends an eye exam every:

  • Two to four years between ages 40 and 54
  • One to three years between ages 55 and 64
  • One to two years beginning at age 65

Depending on the findings of your exam, your doctor may recommend more-frequent examinations. For example, if you wear glasses or contacts, your eyes may need to be checked more often. Ask your doctor what he or she recommends.

Sep. 30, 2011

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