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Eye Exams

Eye Exams at Hardin Valley Eyecare & Optical in Knoxville are conducted by our licensed optometrist, Dr. Travis Thompson.

Regular eye exams are one of the most important preventative measures for protecting your vision and health. Not only are you keeping your prescription up to date, but you are also receiving important diagnostic screenings that are a key part of maintaining eye health and preventing vision loss from common, treatable eye conditions.

To schedule your eye exam now, click here.

How much is an eye exam?

The cost of regular eye exams can vary significantly based on several factors including: location, your level of vision coverage, your chosen vision care provider and risk factors for certain common conditions. Wondering how much an exam might cost you? Call us today and we can discuss eye exam pricing for your specific situation.

You may also be interested in checking out our latest promotions!

Are eye exams covered by my insurance plan?

Depending on your insurance plan and your risk factors for certain eye conditions, many vision insurance plans provide for one to two comprehensive eye examinations per year. Insurance can often be confusing and, while we work with many common providers, you may want to contact us to discuss your particular situation.

How often should you get an eye exam?

Many factors can dictate how often you should get an eye exam including: age, risk factors for certain eye conditions, and your overall health. Based on your needs, you may only need an annual exam to renew your prescription or you might need more frequent exams to keep tabs on risk factors for an eye condition like glaucoma or cataracts. A good rule of thumb is for those over age 40, it is recommended to see your eye doctor once a year.

The American Optometric Association recommends the following examination guideline for early detection of visual problems in children and adults:

Age Recommended Eye Examination Frequency
Birth to 24 months By 6 months of age or as recommended
2 to 5 years At 3 years of age
5 to 19 years Annually
19 to 60 years Every one to two years or as recommended
61 and older Annually or as recommended by your

What about these new online eye exams?

One of the services that has popped up in the past few years is online vision tests that then allow you to order prescription lenses to be delivered in the mail. While you may be tempted to consider this a more convenient option than visiting your local optometrist, you should first be aware of the limitations and potential risks of these online vision services.

Request an appointment today!

Should I schedule an eye exam now?

While getting new glasses or contacts is one of the more common motivations for scheduling an exam, you should schedule an exam now if you’ve experienced any of the following:

  • Changes in vision
  • Blurry or fuzzy vision
  • Eye pain or strain
  • Extreme or recurring headaches
  • Seeing black or gray spots
  • Seeing flashes of light

During the course of your eye exam, our vision care professionals will discuss any of these changes with you to help determine whether additional treatment is needed. While these symptoms may not turn out to be significant, they can often be indicators of serious vision problems that can prevent vision loss when caught and treated early enough.  

What should I expect at my eye exam?

Plan to arrive 5 or 10 minutes early to your appointment and complete patient paperwork, handle insurance billing needs, and allow staff to prepare for your exam by reviewing your most recent prescription. During your exam, you will undergo a number of diagnostic screening procedures and answer a number of questions on your vision including:


Your eyes will be dilated with dilating drops that make your pupils larger and allow your eye doctor a better view of the internal structures of your eye during the comprehensive eye exam.

Note: When your pupils are dilated you will be more sensitive to light and may find it hard to focus on close-up objects; you should plan to bring sunglasses to your exam to help reduce glare and limit light sensitivity after your exam is complete.

Diabetes, Hypertension, and Other Risk Factors

One of the most common vision problems is cataracts, which are one of the most common age-related vision issues. As patients reach 50-60 and older, their risk of developing cataracts increases drastically. Cataracts are a clouding of the lens inside the eye, causing the transparent lens to change to a yellow or brownish color, that typically leads to a decrease in visual clarity and difficulty with glare. An annual eye exam is the best way to diagnose and monitor cataracts until treatment is recommended.

While it may not seem significant in the context of a vision exam, diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in the U.S. and it is important to discuss your diagnosis at your eye exam. While diabetic eye exams aren’t typically any different than regular eye exams, diabetes can drastically increase your risk factors for retinopathy, a loss of vision due to changes in the blood vessels of the retina. Your comprehensive eye exams are the best way for vision care professionals to diagnose and monitor retinal changes that can indicate the progression of the disease.

Another common visual malady is age-related macular degeneration, which is most commonly shortened to simply macular degeneration. Macular degeneration affects the central area of the retina (the macula) and is one of the leading causes of vision loss among older patients age 60 and older. An annual comprehensive eye exam is the best preventative measure for macular degeneration. Schedule your eye exam today!

Contact lens exam

If you wear or want to wear contact lenses, you’ll need a standard eye exam and a contact lens exam. The standard exam covers your overall eye health and vision correction needs, but the contact lens exam includes special procedures to measure the surface of your eyes and evaluate your tear production, which are necessary to ensure you are prescribed the best contacts for your needs. These additional tests may add additional costs to your exam.

Schedule your eye exam today!