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How Long Does an Eye Exam Take?

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"An optometrist performing an eye examination on a man using a specialized medical device while holding a lens up to the man's eye."

How long will your eye exam be? An eye exam typically takes between 20 and 60 minutes, but certain factors can affect the duration of your appointment, such as your eye health and any potential risks for eye diseases

What Happens During an Eye Exam? 

During a comprehensive eye exam, your vision care practitioner must get to know and understand your vision needs. It begins with discussing your family medical history, health information, and lifestyle habits to identify any conditions that might need special attention when conducting the exam.

After getting to know your eyes, your eye doctor can answer your questions and address any concerns before the exam. From there, they’ll conduct a series of tests, including having you read from a Snellen chart to assess your vision and completing tests to measure your current prescription and determine your needs for corrective lenses.

Eye exams also present an excellent opportunity for detecting diseases that don’t come with early symptoms, like detecting glaucoma with intraocular pressure testing. Detecting these subtle diseases is why it’s important to book regular checkups with your eye doctor.

Tests Conducted During an Eye Exam

During an eye exam, your vision care practitioner may use a variety of tests to assess your vision and check for underlying conditions. Depending on your vision and eye health, additional tests may also be conducted during your eye exam to identify potential health issues early on, including:

  • Retinoscopy: A test to measure the refractive error of your eyes.
  • Keratometry test: A test to measure the curvature of your cornea.
  • Peripheral visual field test: A test to measure your side vision.
  • Intraocular pressure measurement: A test to measure the pressure within your eyes. 
A man trying on prescription glasses in an optometrist's office."

Factors That Affect Appointment Length 

The complexity of an eye exam can affect how long it takes to complete. 

As mentioned earlier, an eye exam can last anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes. If additional tests are required, or you get more than one type of prescription (such as glasses or specialty contacts), those factors can add time to the appointment as well. 

Additionally, if you have a medical condition like diabetes or high blood pressure that could influence your vision, further testing may be needed. 

Tips for Your Appointment 

There are some things you can do to help ensure your eye exam goes smoothly, including:

  • Know your medical history and bring a list of your current medications. This can help speed up the discussion portion of your appointment and allow your eye doctor to spend more time examining your eyes.
  • Bring your eyeglasses and contact lenses. If you already wear corrective lenses, bring them to your appointment. This can help your eye doctor understand how your eyesight has changed over time and make any necessary adjustments.
  • Arrive 15 minutes early. If it’s your first visit, arriving early can help ensure you have enough time to fill out paperwork and learn more about your eye doctor’s office before your appointment.

Book an Appointment with Metro Eyecare for Comprehensive Vision Care

As you can see, the duration of an eye exam can vary depending on your needs and your eye health, but in many cases, you can expect it to be between 20 and 60 minutes.

Metro Eyecare is patient-centered and focused on providing innovative services to meet your needs for personalized and preventive eye care. If you’re looking for eye care backed by skilled professionals with decades of experience, our team is ready to help. 

Book your appointment today to get care that can help your vision remain healthy and clear!

Written by Jeff Neighbors

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