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A “sight test” or “visual screening” describes a procedure called a refraction that measures a person’s ability to see an object at a specific distance. It is used to determine a prescription for eye glasses or contact lenses. Refraction cannot be used to diagnose eye or vision problems. For that, a person needs a comprehensive eye exam.

A comprehensive eye exam

may include the following:

Patient History

Functional History

Visual Acuity Measurements

Colour Vision Evaluation

Binocular Vision Assessment

Eye Health Assessment

Neurological Assessment

Refractive Correction

Review, Diagnosis and Recommendations

The final phase of the eye exam involves the optometrist’s professional knowledge and experience to diagnose any conditions, diseases or disorders of the eye and vision system and determine the best treatment plan. Treatment options may include a prescription for glasses and/or contact lenses, eye drops, ongoing monitoring, eye training exercises or even referral for highly complex issues.

How often should you have an eye exam ?


  • 6–9 months
  • 2–5 years
  • Annually, 6–18 years


  • Every two years

Over 65

  • Annually

Get your eyes checked
And more

It is estimated that nearly 25% of school-age children have vision problems. Vision screening programs are not a substitute for a professional eye examination.

A comprehensive eye exam can do more than test your vision — it could help detect potentially life threatening conditions, like high blood pressure, diabetes, and brain tumours. How frequently you need to be seen is dependent on your optometrist’s assessment of ocular disease, systemic disease or medication associated with risk to ocular health.*