If you’re visiting a new eye doctor or it’s been a while since you’ve gotten your eyes checked, it can help to brush up on the process. This will not only help you be prepared, but it will also help your optometrist and his or her staff serve you more quickly and efficiently.
Before your next eye exam, you’ll want to be sure that you have items such as your insurance information and prescription eyewear handy. You should also be prepared to answer questions about your health such as your personal health history, family health history, and current medications you’re on. It also helps to know what a comprehensive eye exam is and how it benefits your vision as well as overall health.
In this post we’ll look at:
- What to bring to the eye doctor
- Questions your optometrist will have
- What to expect during a comprehensive eye exam
Visiting the eye doctor should be part of everyone’s wellness routine. By knowing what to expect beforehand, you’ll be more prepared and your doctor and their staff will be able to serve you more effectively.
What to Bring To the Eye Doctor
People go to the eye doctor for different reasons. For some, it’s a part of their annual routine, especially if they already wear glasses or contact lenses. For others, it could be due to a new or recurring vision problem that they want to have checked out. Whatever your reason for visiting the optometrist, knowing what to expect will set you up for the best experience possible.
The two most important things you’ll need when visiting the eye doctor are your insurance information and your prescription eyewear if you have any. Having your insurance information handy will save you time filling out paperwork. Bringing your prescription glasses or contacts will help your eye doctor determine if they’re still the right prescription for you.
It’s also a good idea to bring a pair of sunglasses in case the doctor needs to dilate your pupils. Dilation opens up your pupils using special eye drops which also makes your eyes more sensitive to light. You can also enlist a friend to drive you to and from your appointment.
Make a list of any symptoms or problems you may be having with your vision. If possible, discuss this with the staff when you make your appointment. This will help your optometrist know what to expect and be more prepared for your visit.
Questions Your Optometrist Will Have
Your optometrist will have his or her own set of questions to help determine the health of your eyes. These questions will include:
- Have you had any previous problems with your vision?
- Have you had any recent health problems?
- What medications or supplements are you currently on?
- Were you born prematurely?
- Have you undergone eye surgery before?
- Do you have any allergies?
Other important questions will involve your family’s health history. Our family’s genetics play an important role in the health of our vision. By knowing your family history, your eye doctor will be better equipped to assess your risk of certain eye problems such as glaucoma, retinal detachment, and macular degeneration.
Your eye doctor will also want to know your family’s history of:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
These health problems can have a huge impact on your vision and eye health. Knowing your family history will help your doctor know which warning signs to look out for, and create a plan to address them.
What To Expect During a Comprehensive Eye Exam
If it’s been a while since you’ve been to the eye doctor, then you may associate a vision exam with vision tests you had in school. Those were vision screenings, and while helpful for catching vision problems in kids who have trouble seeing the whiteboard, they’re not helpful in detecting major vision problems.
What’s more, vision screenings don’t pick up health problems that seem unrelated to your eyes. This is why you need a comprehensive eye exam instead of a vision screening. They not only help catch future problems with your vision, but with your overall health, as well.
Some of these tests are familiar, like reading charts or having a light flashed in your eye to measure the surface of your cornea. What makes comprehensive eye exams different is that they can require dilating the pupils of the eye. This gives your optometrist better insight into your vision and overall health, allowing them to create a plan to treat both.
Why You Should Consider Getting a Comprehensive Eye Exam
According to the American Optometric Association, almost all Americans consider their eye health to be just as important as their heart health. Unfortunately, about half of them between the ages of 23-38 don’t think they need a comprehensive eye exam if they already have good vision.
But comprehensive eye exams are about more than having your vision checked. In fact, they’re just as important to your overall health as any other medical checkup.
This is because comprehensive eye exams provide a window into your overall health. Through them, your eye doctor is able to detect the early signs of common as well as serious medical problems related to your vision as well as other aspects of your health.
- Macular degeneration
- Dry Eyes
- Autoimmune disorders
Comprehensive eye exams are also important since they’re one of the few ways medical professionals can see blood vessels behind the eyes. Other methods do exist, but they require uncomfortable or invasive procedures in an intimidating medical setting.
Are you ready to schedule your comprehensive eye exam? Contact us today to schedule your appointment!