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How Long Does an Eye Exam Take?

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An optometrist uses a flashlight to check her patient's eyes

We all lead busy lives, but making time for critical health-related tasks like comprehensive eye exams is crucial. It helps to know how much time you need to set aside for these things because life can get hectic.

There isn’t a standard answer on how long an eye exam will take. It ultimately depends on what your optometrist needs to check and if further tests are required. But, most eye exams take about 20 min to 40 min minutes on average.

Ask your optometrist or their team for the most accurate estimate. Some things require more, such as additional testing or contact lens fittings.

The Importance of Comprehensive Eye Exams

It can be tempting to skip regular eye exams if you’re not dealing with any obvious signs that something is wrong. But a lack of symptoms is a significant reason why comprehensive eye exams are critical to maintaining good eye health. 

It might be evident to you that you need glasses or contact lenses if you have blurry vision, but many eye conditions—like glaucoma or age-related macular degeneration (AMD)—often develop with little to no symptoms.

To further complicate matters, vision loss from any of these conditions is permanent, making regular comprehensive eye examinations provide the best chance for early diagnosis and treatment.

How Often Should You Get an Eye Exam?

Eye exam frequency isn’t the same for everybody. Your eye doctor will tell you how often you should see them based on your medical history, risk factors, and overall eye health.

The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends guidelines based primarily on age. For most, they recommend eye exams every 1 to 2 years.

How Much Does an Eye Exam Cost?

Price of eye exam is also a factor for many. Fortunately, Alberta Health Care (AHC) covers one yearly appointment for children and adults over 65. Additionally, everyone is covered by AHC for urgent eye care, infections, and medically necessary treatment. These health services don’t cover adults between 19 and 64 for routine eye exams, but many people are covered for some eye care through their work benefits.

There isn’t a single answer if you need to pay out of pocket for an eye exam. The price of an eye exam can vary by location, types of testing done, diagnostic technology used, and exam duration. If you don’t have insurance, contact us for an accurate eye exam price.

How Long Does an Eye Exam Take?

Eye exams take about 20 minutes to 40 min. However, it’s different for everyone. Give us a call if you have a hectic schedule and need a more precise time to arrange time off work or child care.

What Do Comprehensive Eye Exams Include?

A comprehensive eye exam includes various tests to check your eye health and vision, but the exact tests can vary from patient to patient. For example, an eye doctor probably won’t spend much time looking for age-related conditions like AMD or glaucoma in a child. Alternatively, if there is a history of high eye pressure or diabetes, the optometrist may want to perform a dilated eye exam.

Some common tests many eye exams include are:

  • Vision quality: Your optometrist typically checks visual acuity and for signs of refractive errors that] need correcting.
  • Eye health: Many possible conditions and eye diseases can develop, often with little to no symptoms. A comprehensive eye exam allows the optometrist to diagnose these early and begin treatment to minimize their long-term effects.
  • Various tests and checks: These include colour vision, muscle movement and eye coordination, focusing ability, and peripheral vision. But not every exam requires every check. As you visit your eye doctor regularly, they should have a complete picture of your eye health and vision needs.
An optometrist shakes hands with her patient

Book Your Next Exam

It’s incredible how much information is readily available with a quick Google search nowadays. But Google can’t replace the professional advice of your optometrist. So, call us if you need an accurate time frame and pricing.Contact our team at Focus West Optometry today. We’re happy to answer all your questions so you will know what to expect. And we can get you in to see one of our experienced eye doctors if it’s time for your next eye exam.

Written by Focus West Optometry

Welcome to Focus West Optometry! Since our founding in 1997, our team has been proud to serve the Calgary community and provide comprehensive eye care for the whole family. We offer a wide range of eye care services, including addressing dry eyes, an extensive optical boutique, and innovative technology to make your visit as efficient as possible.

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