Whether you or a loved one are having a first eye exam, a repeat eye exam, or are seeing a new eye doctor for the first time, there are a number of routine questions you can expect. But your answers to these questions during eye exams are anything but routine for your eye doctor.
That’s because there are any number of factors in your medical history that can contribute to current or potential vision problems. Understanding your lifestyle and describing any visual problems you’re having helps to point your eye exam in the right direction. And there are medical conditions, medications and circumstances that can put you or a family member at a higher risk for certain eye diseases.
Things to know before eye exams.
Beyond having your vision insurance information, necessary payment and identification ready, here’s a checklist of things to know before you approach the front desk at your next eye exam.
- What eye problems are you having now? Is your vision blurry or hazy at certain distances? Do you have problems in your side vision? Are you experiencing pain or discomfort in certain lighting situations?
- Do you have a history of any eye problems or eye injury? Do you have a current prescription for glasses or contact lenses? Are you wearing them regularly, and if so, are you still happy with them?
- Were you or your loved one born prematurely? Have you had any health problems in the recent such as high blood pressure or heart disease? Are you diabetic? Are you considered overweight?
- Are you taking any medications? Do you have allergies to medications, food or other materials? Seasonal allergies?
- Has anyone in your family (including parents) suffered from eye problems or diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma or macular degeneration?
- Has anyone in your family (including parents) suffered from high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes? What about other health problems that can affect the whole body like blood disorders or cancer?
Eye exams include a detailed history because many things you might consider unrelated to vision may actually affect your current vision, or reveal potential risks for developing certain eye diseases. Be ready to provide a complete history at your next eye exam, and help the front desk, and your eye doctor, best prepare for the examination that follows.
Visiting your eye doctor regularly is the only reliable way to maintain healthy sight and possibly prevent mild to serious eye diseases.
For children, teens, and adults of all ages, an eye doctor visit needs to happen regularly; at the minimum once every two years, and more frequently if you currently have eye disease, are at risk or have diabetes, or are approaching stages in life that put you at risk for age-related eye disease.
It’s important to understand the relationship between your eyes and any medications you may currently be using.