Eye Exams


At Prairie Vision Center in Wahpeton, ND we are dedicated to doing a comprehensive analysis of the entire visual system. Using the lastest technology we are able to accurately determine your prescription and the presence of any eye disease. We also work with your insurance company to determine if any benefits apply to your eye exam.


How often should I get an eye exam?

The American Optometric Association has issued a reminder to encourage Americans to seek the care they need to keep their eyes healthy and their vision performing at peak efficiency.

Professional eye care begins early; most babies receive their first eye examination before leaving the hospital. The American Optometric Association recommends parents scheduling an exam by an optometrist for the child between the age of six months and a year of age. The next exam should be around three years of age.

For school-age children, eye examinations are recommended before entering kindergarten and every year thereafter. Adults between 19 and 60 years old should have their eyes examined every one to two years, depending on the recommendation of their optometrist. The association recommends annual eye examinations for adults over the age of 60.

While these recommendations are a good guideline, more frequent eye examinations may be needed for people in certain high-risk categories. These categories include people with a personal or family history of eye disease (such as glaucoma, crossed eyes, congenital eye disorders, and/or diseases that affect multiple systems in the body such as diabetes or hypertension) and for a driver’s license.


Do I Need to be Dilated?

Many optometrists including myself recommend a dilated eye exam for patients. Dilation of the central part of the eye, better known as the pupil, enables an optometrist to thoroughly evaluate the health of the inside of your eyes under the very best conditions.

With dilation it is like looking through a window compared to looking through a keyhole without having the eyes dilated. Dilating the pupils is necessary for the best evaluation of many eye conditions, such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, retinal detachment and other potentially sight threatening conditions.

It is necessary for the earliest detection of these very important conditions. Drops are placed on the eyes to enlarge your pupils. When the pupils are enlarged, you will likely find:

  • Increased sensitivity to light.
  • Blurred vision, especially at near. You may have difficulty reading or doing desk work.
  • Difficulty driving in some cases, due to the large pupils which can increase glare, sensitivity to light, and sometimes cause blurred vision.
  • While dilation can cause some sensitivities for a few hours after the exam, the benefits of early detection of several retinal disorders far outweighs the minor inconvenience.