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The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends that adults wearing glasses or contacts who are age 61 and older should see their eye doctor every year or as recommended. If no vision correction is required, adults age 18 to 60 should have eye exams every two years.

Be sure to take

  • Your glasses or contacts
  • A list of any health conditions or allergies you may have
  • A list of any medicines or supplements you take
  • Knowledge of your general health
  • Knowledge of your family history of eye disease
  • Sunglasses, in case the eye care professional puts dilating drops in your eyes. They will protect your eyes and enable you to see better while your pupils are enlarged.

The most common problems are refractive errors, which include nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia.

According to the National Eye Institute, cataract removal is one of the most common surgeries performed in the United States. It's also one of the safest and most effective. About 90 percent of those who have cataract surgery have better vision afterward.

In most cases, people who undergo LASIK surgery have good to excellent outcomes that last for years, even decades, of life without glasses. Complications resulting in a loss of vision are rare. But certain temporary side effects are common, like dry eyes and visual disturbances, both of which typically go away in a few weeks or months.

The cornea is the clear dome-like covering in the front of your eye that plays an important role in vision. The cornea helps focus light that enters the eye onto the retina.

The retina, light-sensitive tissue behind the eye, converts the light into electrical impulses and transmits them to the brain via the optic nerve.

Nearsightedness is a refractive error that makes distant objects look blurry. It typically happens when the eye is longer than normal, causing the focal point to fall short of the retina.

Farsightedness is a refractive error that makes close-up objects look blurry.  It typically happens when the eye is shorter than normal, causing the focal point to fall behind the retina.

The difference is cause and age. Hyperopia is usually caused by an eye that is shorter than normal, while presbyopia is a result of the normal aging of the eyes’ lenses. Hyperopia can happen in childhood and later while presbyopia typically does not occur until after 40 years of age.

These are common vision conditions and are likely influenced by hereditary links. There is evidence that refractive errors can be influenced by one's visual environment and visual experiences during childhood. Currently, there is a lot of research on myopia control (reducing its progression), but only your eye care provider can tell you if this would benefit you.

Cataract surgery is one of the most common surgical procedures in the U.S., with over 3 million performed yearly. While cataract surgery is considered one of the safest surgical procedures in the U.S., there are risks such as infection, visual effects like halos and glare, secondary cataracts, and other less common complications.

Your surgeon will discuss your particular needs and risks before surgery is scheduled.

You can buy contact lenses from a variety of sources (your eye care professional, optical retailers, or online resellers) but only after you've been evaluated, fitted, and provided a contact lens prescription by an eye care professional.

It is important that you talk to your eye care professional and be honest about your sleeping habits so that you can get the contact lens that is right for you.

Soft contact lenses are made of soft, flexible plastics that allow oxygen to pass through to the cornea, while GP lenses are made of rigid plastics that are more durable and resistant to deposit buildup. While soft lenses are often regarded as more comfortable and easier to care for, GP lenses are able to correct certain vision problems that soft lenses cannot.

Yes. It is illegal to sell contact lenses without a prescription, and for good reason. A contact lens that is poorly fitted or made from a material not well-suited to your eyes can cause distorted vision, discomfort, infection, inflammation, and in rare cases, permanent damage.

Your contact lens prescription should state when it expires. In general, contact lens prescriptions are valid for one year, but certain states allow for contact lens prescriptions to expire earlier or later, sometimes up to two years after they are written. When your prescription expires, you won't be able to buy more lenses until your eye care professional gives you an updated prescription.