The usual recommendation for eye examinations is around 2 years. These examinations are effectively free as most places bulk bill (in the anticipation of selling you overpriced frames) they are obliged to give you the prescription if you ask - so that you may go elsewhere or nowhere. They should at the same time exam you for eye diseases**, some of which can make you lose your sight ( loosing eyesight is second only to cancer as the biggest health fear) . Glaucoma is one of the most common but there are others such as macular degeneration (smoking is a risk factor) and such. Sadly optometrists track record on detecting these isn't as good as it should be but it is improving. If you have anything other than "normal" deterioration you should really see an ophthalmologist. On Laser surgery - despite glowing testimonials , a stock in trade of clairvoyants, naturopaths, homeopathy, financial advisors, HK tailors and spiritualists, the evidence on the long term effectiveness and superiority over other methods, of laser surgery is not yet convincing. Thats why it isn't taxpayer funded. (Firman - you don't see testimonials of all the people who had expensive laser surgery that after 3 - 6 months reverted to previous problems) NB: People who have diabetes are at a considerably increased risk of losing their sight (amongst other things) At the risk of pointing out the bleeding obvious - and bolstered by the fact that we are discussing this on a fashion forum - sadly eyeglasses have been transformed by marketing (and primarily Luxottica) into a retail fashion item rather than a health care item. This is what has supported the crazy prices and the crowding out of health care issues. Thankfully there is a small but growing movement amongst optometrists to revert to a health care orientation. Back to the costs: Ms fxh gets two pair of swishy fashion glasses each year we go to Taiwan - for around $80 the two. She either takes the latest script or just gets the glasses scanned at the glasses shop. The next day they are fitted. Me, not having a cute asian nose, to put it kindly, I can't get glasses in Taiwan. I have about 5 pair of bifocals, the best - really - is an expensive pair of Silhouettes - rimless light as a feather, I also have 2 pair of generic cheapies from my great optometrists, lightweight and thin metal that I wear most days, and some Shuron tortoiseshell Revelations with clip on sunnies plus a few pair of readers and a pair of look overs now confined to "boys" outdoor jobs. Edit: ** I should add that even if you are a younger fucker who thinks they are bullet proof you should get a "free" eye exam every now and then. Most , not all, eye diseases can now be well controlled if detected early. One of my mates went blind at 22 from glaucoma undetected. Even brown cordovan meerkat double monks (or camo driving slippers - hi rompy), worn sockless don't make up for being blind.