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How Often Do Eyeglasses Prescriptions Change?

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Three different colour glasses frames at CHROMA in Fort Worth.

Eyeglasses are necessary for many people, correcting their vision and allowing them to see the world more clearly. However, not everyone knows how often their eyeglass prescription should be updated. The human eye is an ever-evolving organ, and prescriptions are not designed to last indefinitely.

Typically, an eyeglass prescription is valid for 1 year. After this, you won’t be able to use your prescription to get new eyewear or replace your lenses. 

The eye doctors at CHROMA can update your prescription with a comprehensive eye exam and simultaneously look for changes in your eye health.

Why Do Eyeglass Prescriptions Change?

Like the rest of our body, our eyes can change over time. One of the most common reasons your prescription may change is simply due to your age. As people age, the lenses in their eyes may become less flexible, making it harder for them to focus on objects up close. This condition is called presbyopia and may require a different prescription than what they needed when they were younger.

Other factors that can cause changes in eyeglass prescriptions include:

How Often Should You Update Your Eyeglass Prescription?

The American Optometric Association recommends exam frequencies based on your age:

  • Infants should have their first exam between 6–9 months
  • Children should have another exam between 3–5 years of age
  • Adolescents 6–17 should have annual exams
  • Adults 18–64 should also have an annual eye exam
  • Adults 65+ should have annual exams, but may require one even very 6 months if there are any active conditions being monitored

Remember that these are just guidelines, and your eye doctor at CHROMA may recommend more frequent exams if you’re considered at-risk. For example, if you have a high refractive error, you may require annual exams so we can track any changes.

For this reason, prescriptions typically expire around the same time you should have your annual eye exam.

Why Is It Important To Update Your Eyeglass Prescription?

Wearing the wrong prescription isn’t necessarily dangerous, but it can be frustrating and uncomfortable. Without the correct prescription, you may experience:

  • Blurry vision
  • Headaches
  • Eyestrain

Additionally, getting an eye exam and updating your prescription can help detect early signs of eye diseases or conditions that could affect your overall health.

Optometric devices lined up in the pre-test area at CHROMA.

How Can You Tell if Your Prescription Needs Updating?

When CHROMA hands you your eyeglass prescription, it includes an examination date. The examination date indicates when we provided the prescription, which expires one year from this date.

Just because your prescription expires doesn’t mean your vision is guaranteed to have changed by then. Sometimes, your vision won’t change, while other times, you could notice vision problems before the expiration date. The expiration simply helps you—and us—watch for signs that your lenses aren’t working as they should.

So, if you notice vision issues, don’t wait until the expiration date has passed. Book an eye exam and let us know that your vision has changed. CHROMA’s optometrist can assess your eyes and help determine if you need to update your prescription. Since it’s also possible something damaged your eyewear or a health issue is affecting your sight, an eye exam is one of the best ways to find a solution to your problem.

Some signs your prescription could have changed include:

Blurry Vision 

If you can’t read the fine print on your phone, newspaper, or road signs even when you’re wearing glasses, it could be a sign that you need a new prescription. However, refractive errors aren’t the only reason you may have trouble seeing clearly—blurred vision could be a symptom of more severe health issues.


Headaches can be a sign of many things, but it’s essential to consider if it could be related to your glasses. If you’re trying to read something, but your eyes can’t quite focus, it could force your brain to work overtime.

If you find yourself experiencing frequent headaches or migraines when wearing your glasses, it could be time to get them checked.

Eye Fatigue

Eye fatigue or strain is a common sign that your glasses may not work correctly. This can be incredibly frustrating if you spend your day working on a computer. Computers can already be tiring for your eyes even before you add in the strain of an expired prescription.

Keeping Your Vision Up-To-Date

Regular eye exams are crucial for maintaining good eye health and vision. Keeping up with your recommended eyeglass prescription updates can save you from experiencing the frustrating and often uncomfortable side effects of wearing the wrong prescription glasses.

Don’t let outdated prescriptions hold you back from seeing life clearly. Our expert team at CHROMA modern Eyewear Eyecare can help you stay on top of your prescription.If you last had an eye exam a while ago, schedule one with us today!

Dr. Matt Barber of CHROMA modern Eyewear Eyecare

Written by
Dr. Matt Barber

Dr. Matthew G. Barber began seeing patients at CHROMA in September of 2001. For over two decades, Dr. Barber has worked diligently to provide cutting-edge eye care to the people of Fort Worth and its surrounding areas while providing a warm and friendly environment for his patients. He wanted to give the community of Fort Worth something unique and special, and so CHROMA was born.

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Dr. Matt Barber
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