As a refresher, an eye exam consists of many steps, from reviewing personal and family medical history to determining eye health, visual acuity, and refraction. When you come in an appointment oblivious about the state and history of your eyes, the eyesight test may not go as smoothly and the results may not be as accurate. Our first order of business is to use the checklist below that shows what to know, bring, and do, before an eye exam.
Key background information for eye tests
Just like any medical consultation or exam, an eye check-up involves an active interaction between the doctor and the patient. If you want to make the most of it, you have to be able to supply your doctor vital information for them to give you the best assessment.
Family Medical History
• Does your family have a history of eye problems or diseases such as glaucoma, cataract, or macular degeneration?
• Has anyone in your family suffered from high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, blood disorders, or cancer?
• Do you know of any other health problems that run in your family?
• Have you had any health issues recently like hypertension or heart disease? Have you had any injuries or operations recently?
• Are you overweight?
• Are you taking any medications? Are you allergic to anything–whether food, medication, or material things? Do you have seasonal allergies?
• Have you noticed any issues with your eyes or eyesight such as pain, dryness, excessive blinking, blurry vision, flashes of light, poor night vision, or double vision? When did this start? What makes it worse and what helps?
• Are you having difficulty performing tasks because of your vision?
• Do you have a current prescription for glasses or contact lenses? Are you wearing them regularly? If so, are you still satisfied with them?
What to bring to your eye doctor’s appointment
Having these items will save you and your ophthalmologist time because you won’t need to start from scratch when explaining your eye health history.
• Glasses and other eyewear you’re currently using–progressives, computer glasses, and sunglasses.
• If you’re a contact lens wearer, come to the appointment with your contacts on, especially if you plan to get them updated.
• A list of current medications you’re using, including the non-prescribed or over-the-counter ones as some medications could be affecting your vision.
• Health insurance card, especially if eye exams are covered and you wish to avail of it.
What to ask your ophthalmologist during an eye exam
It’s good to prepare the questions you want to ask your doctor beforehand. It’s easy to get caught up in the procedures and forget questions you’ve been meaning to ask. Never leave your doctor’s clinic or office without having a clear picture of your check up.
✓ Has anything about my eyes changed since my last eyesight test?
✓ Should I look out for anything in particular when it comes to my eyes and overall health?
✓ What are my options for improving my vision?
✓ How can I better take care of my eyes with my current lifestyle?
✓ What are the things I should do differently?
✓ Do I need or am I most likely to undergo any vision correction or procedures?
✓ What do you recommend I use: glasses or contact lenses?
✓ How many hours per day can I wear contacts?
✓ Can I schedule my next eye exam?
Now that you’re ready, book your appointment!
When you’re prepared, you can control a situation rather than the situation controlling you. During medical exams, people tend to let the doctors do their thing and just mindlessly go through the process. In the end, these people are left less educated and are less likely to acquire the best possible treatment. Take in the doctor’s recommendations and prescriptions the right way by involving yourself.
At Vision Express, our eye exams include 7 steps that test for refractive error, visual sharpness, and the ability of the eyes to focus, adjust, and work together. The best part is, you can get it for FREE! Book now and get the most of this opportunity your eyes and body will thank you for.
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2. Eyeglass Guide. What to Do Before Your Eye Exam. Retrieved from https://www.eyeglassguide.com/my-visit/visiting-your-eye-care-professional.aspx
3. East Main Vision Clinic. (2018, April 18). 7 Ways to Prepare for Your Eye Exam. Retrieved from https://www.emvc.net/blog/7-ways-prepare-eye-exam
4. VSP Vision Care. Planning Your Eye Doctor Visit. Retrieved from https://www.vsp.com/eyewear-wellness/eye-health/eye-appointments
5. Cannon, Mark. (2015, November 2). Top 7 Tips to Prepare for Your Next Eye Exam. Retrieved from https://seattleeyecaredoctor.com/top-7-tips-to-prepare-for-eye-exam/