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Vision Screening and Eye Exams for Adults


Complete eye exams are important to check for vision problems and eye diseases that you may not know you have. Many eye diseases, such as glaucoma, do not have any early symptoms and are only found with an eye exam.

The Alberta Association of Optometrists recommends an eye exam at the following times:

  • A first eye exam at age 6 to 9 months.
  • At least once between ages 2 to 5 years.
  • Once a year for ages 6 to 19 years.
  • Every 1 to 2 years for ages 20 to 64 years.
  • Once a year for age 65 years and older.

Your eye doctor may also suggest that you get exams more often just to check for refractive errors, such as nearsightedness or farsightedness.

If you are at risk for or have signs of eye disease, such as glaucoma or age-related macular degeneration, you may need complete eye exams more often.

For people who have diabetes, experts recommend a yearly eye exam. If you have no signs of diabetic retinopathy, your doctor may recommend less frequent eye exams.footnote 2



  1. Canadian Ophthalmological Society (2007). Canadian Ophthalmological Society evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for the periodic eye examination in adults in Canada. Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology, 42 (1): 39–45. DOI: 10.1139/i06-126e. Accessed July 19, 2020.
  2. Diabetes Canada Clinical Practice Guidelines Expert Committee, et al. (2018). Retinopathy. Canadian Journal of Diabetes, 42(Suppl 1): S210–S216. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcjd.2017.10.027. Accessed October 15, 2018.


Adaptation Date: 11/27/2023

Adapted By: Alberta Health Services

Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services

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