What to bring to your eye exam

Young woman wearing glasses thinking and writing in a notebook

Do you need to prepare for an eye exam? Do you need to bring anything with you? How long will an eye exam take? 

Let’s tackle these questions one by one...

How do you prepare for an eye exam?

Yes, there is a little homework to do before your eye exam. Make the effort, and it will give you a better experience, additional information and more for your time, money and effort. Preparation for an eye exam mainly involves making some lists:

Vision issues: Think about whether you’ve noticed anything different about your vision. Any blurry vision or double vision? Flashes? Trouble seeing at night? Write down your visual issues.

Family history: Think about your family’s health history. Have your parents or grandparents had glaucoma, cataracts or other eye problems? Make a note of that.

Medications list: Think about your health history. Any recent illnesses, injuries, medical procedures or other health issues you should share with your eye doctor? What medications, supplements or herbal remedies are you taking, and what are the doses? Take a list to your eye doctor.

Bring your questions: Before your eye exam, think about what you want to know. If something about your vision has you worried, or if you are interested in a certain form of vision correction, what questions do you have? Jot down your questions so you don’t forget to ask your eye doctor.

SEE RELATED: 10 key questions to ask your child's eye doctor

What to bring to your eye exam

Besides those lists of your recent vision issues, family history and current medications, bring your current eyeglasses, sunglasses and/or contact lenses

You’ll also need your vision insurance card (if you have one), and you’ll need the contact information for your primary care doctor. 

If your eyes are dilated for your exam, you may need to bring a friend to drive you home. That’s because dilation with drops can make you light-sensitive and blur your vision for several hours, past the point of comfortably and safely driving home.

How long does it take for an eye exam?

A comprehensive eye exam will take about an hour, so trying to squeeze it in during lunch may not work. If the exam involves drops to dilate your pupils, it could take longer because the drops need time to take effect.  

An eye exam for contact lenses typically lasts longer than an eye exam to get glasses.

How do I schedule an eye exam?

Now that you know what to expect from an eye exam, you need to find an eye doctor near you.  

Need help deciding which eye doctor is best for your needs? Our article explaining the difference between optometrists and ophthalmologists will help you choose the type of eye doctor that best meets your needs. 

READY TO BOOK AN EYE EXAM? Find an eye doctor near you and schedule an appointment.

Find Eye Doctor

Schedule an exam

Find Eye Doctor