When it comes to eye care, a majority of people tend to put off their eye doctor visits, thinking they’re just not that important. After all, they can still see, right? Just like your regular (preventative) doctor checkups and your dental exams, a regular vision exam is vital to ensuring your eyesight remains strong and healthy throughout your life.
Contact-lens wearers typically visit their eye doctor every year to keep up their prescription. But for the rest of us, carving out time in a busy day to see an ophthalmologist can sometimes seem like a hassle. An annual visit is optimal for preventative eye health. But even if you can’t go that often, you should schedule a regular visit to see your eye doctor every two years (unless your doctor wants to see you more frequently).aa
Like any doctor visit, there are a few preparative things you can do to streamline the process and help your doctor get to the bottom of your vision challenges (and make the experience smoother for you too).
So what can you do to prepare? As you ready yourself for your eye exam, be sure to bring these along to your next visit.
A list of questions and concerns
Although we provide tips and answers to eye concerns all year long through our blog, we know you have your own unique questions. Your regular visit is a great time to get those answers. Assemble a list of questions so that you don’t forget on the day of. Asking about vision changes since your last visit, or anything you can do to improve or enhance your vision is important for you to know.
A list of prescriptions
Sometimes waning vision is due to more than meets the eye. Are you on any medications? Prescription medications can often have a number of side effects. So it’s important to bring a list of anything you’re taking so your doctor can see if they could be having an impact on your vision. Non-prescription drugs, or even some supplements, could also have a deleterious effect on your eyes, especially if they’re having a contradictive effect with other things you’re taking. And last but not least, be sure to bring your prescription eyeglasses or contacts so your doctor can see if you need new ones or some other vision correction.
A friend with a license to drive (and some sunglasses)
Be sure to ask beforehand if your doctor will be dilating your eyes. Dilation enlarges your pupils, allowing in more light to give your doctor a more direct look at your retina and optic nerve and the ability to diagnose things like glaucoma and macular degeneration. Following dilation, you may experience increased light sensitivity and blurry vision for a few hours and should avoid driving with less than clear vision. This is where your friend (and sunglasses) comes in.
Vision insurance information
Your ophthalmologist visit shouldn’t be stressful. Keep the process smooth and simple by bringing any insurance information with you. If you’re not asked while making your appointment, be sure to mention your insurance provider to be sure that you’ll be covered.
An open mind
If your doctor mentions any problems or areas of concern for your eyes, you should be willing to listen to what he or she has to say. It can be hard to hear that anything about us is less than healthy, especially if it means making a change to our lifestyle, like cutting out smoking, wearing glasses or considering corrective eye surgery. Listening with an open mind is vital to staying on top of your eye health.
Family health history (and yours!)
Let your doctor know if eye problems or certain health conditions run in your family. While your doctor will always check the health of your eyes, knowing if things like glaucoma or cataracts run in the family can provide vital information and direction as he examines your vision. Health conditions such as high blood pressure can also take a toll on vision if not properly cared for. Also note if you’ve had any injuries or illnesses, as they could also be impacting your vision.
Ready to schedule your eye exam, but not sure where to go? Our amazing team of doctors and office staff aim to make your ophthalmologist visit the best experience--and our offices are located throughout California! Check them out here then book your appointment by calling 888.539.2211.