Do you have an eye exam coming up soon? Wondering how to prepare for this? If you want to get the most out of your eye exam, being prepared can help your doctor evaluate your eyes better and provide a more accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Here are some tips from Medical Arts and Eye Clinic and Optical of Auburn to help you get ready!
What You Should Do
Here are some things you should do before and during your eye appointment. These activities can help you get the most accurate results from tests and learn the most from your ophthalmologist.
1. Bring a List of Symptoms
If you are experiencing any changes in your vision or any eye-related issues, write them down including the length of the symptoms. Some symptoms of concern to take note of include:
- Dry eyes
- Itchy eyes
- Watery eyes
- Any pain in the eye
- Flashes of light or sensitivity issues
- Blurry vision
- Depth perception issues
- Distorted vision
- Having a hard time seeing objects far away or close up
All of these are obvious symptoms you want to take note of and bring up with your eye doctor. Writing down details such as how long these symptoms occur and if they come and go can help your eye doctor figure out any issue you are having with your eyes.
2. Take Note of Any Medications You take
This includes over-the-counter and prescription medicines. Whether you are taking eye drops for glaucoma or blood pressure medicine, bring the name of the medicine and the dosage you are taking. This will give your eye doctor some insight into your overall eye health, and make sure they are not prescribing anything that could have a bad interaction with something you are already taking. Some medicines have side effects you might not be aware of causing eye problems as well, so make sure to do this step. If you have any questions about new medication side effects, don’t be afraid to ask your eye doctor.
3. Wear Your Contacts or Glasses
Bringing your prescription sunglasses, contacts, or glasses will allow the doctor to assess your prescription with different tests and see if adjustments are needed. The doctor may ask you questions related to your prescription to determine if it is time to update the prescription or not.
4. Know Your Family History of Eye Diseases
A lot of eye diseases or conditions run in the family, so the more information you have on your family’s medical history to provide to the doctor, the better. It is recommended to start with your close family such as your parents, grandparents, and siblings. Some genetic eye diseases and conditions you should mention are:
- Color blindness
- Retinitis pigmentosa
- Macular degeneration
5. Have Questions!
A great way to learn more about your eyes is by asking your doctor questions. Do not be afraid to ask any questions that you have. Some questions you might want to ask during, before, or after your eye exam are:
- What tests will be performed today?
- What do my results mean?
- Do I need a follow-up visit?
- Should I make any changes in my lifestyle to improve eye health?
- Will my condition change with time?
- What are new symptoms I should pay attention to?
- Can my eye problem be treated?
- What measures can I take to protect my eyes now?
What You Shouldn’t Do
Here are some things you should NOT do before your eye appointment. Engaging in these activities can affect your eye exam. To get the best results possible, avoid these 4 activities.
DON’T Overexert Your Eyes
Keeping your eyes rested leading up to an exam is likely to increase the ease and comfort of your eye exam. Aim for about 8 hours of sleep the night before your eye appointment. Digital eye strain from looking at your computer, phone, or tablet, can affect anyone who uses these devices often. It can lead to eye fatigue. We recommend minimizing your screen time before appointments.
DON’T Drink Coffee or Alcohol
Caffeine in your coffee can raise your blood pressure, which can be identified during your eye exam. Caffeine from Coffee can produce inaccurate results for this test and should be avoided.
Alcohol also increases your blood pressure. After drinking alcohol, your eyes may feel irritated or dry during tests. We recommend steering clear from alcohol the day of and night before your eye exam.
DON’T Forget Insurance Documents
Having physical, current copies of your vision or medical insurance will make your eye exam go a little bit smoother. If your information is already on file, it should be updated and if you are new we will need it all. Also bringing a government-issued ID is important such as a passport, school ID, driver's license, etc.
DON’T Feel Nervous
New technology has turned eye exams into a simpler, pleasant experience. A lot of it can be done with cameras and better technology than 20 years ago. The most worrisome part about an eye exam is the light sensitivity after pupil dilation. If this irritates you or your eyes, we recommend you bring someone to drive you home.
The entire process should only take about an hour. It is very rare to have any pain during these exams. If you are having any pain or discomfort, do not be afraid to mention it to your doctor during the exam.
How We Can Help
At Medical Arts and Eye of Auburn, we are committed to giving you the smoothest, easiest, eye exam you have ever had. Following the steps and recommendations we provided will ensure that you can get the most out of your eye doctor visit. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or with any other questions you may have about our services.