Preparing for an Eye Exam

Going to the eye doctor for the first time can be unnerving. For those who develop the need for vision correction, the change may cause a significant impact on daily life and routines. Likewise, vision patients who are seeing a new doctor will also need to adjust. By preparing for an eye exam, you can help to maintain comfort and peace of mind during the experience. Being prepared can also help the eye doctor find your best vision plan moving forward.

Eye Exam Preparation and Planning

Fortunately, an eye exam does not require a great deal of preparation. If you use contact lenses or glasses, wear them or bring them both with you to the appointment. This way, the eye doctor has the ability to examine or document them if necessary. The eye doctor may also perform vision tests with your current contacts or glasses to ensure that these corrective devices provide you with the proper prescription strength.

Need to Remove Contacts

Some types of vision testing will require that you remove your contact lenses. This is primarily true of testing that requires the use of dye, such as fluorescein. This eye exam is used to temporarily color your eyes to provide the eye doctor with a unique view of your eye’s surface.

Eye Dilation

The eye doctor may also ask you to remove your contacts when performing eye dilation. When undergoing an exam that requires eye dilation, the doctor will administer eye drops that dilate your pupils. This way, the eye doctor can more easily examine your eye’s retina in the back of the eye. You should plan to have a ride home after eye dilation, as your vision will be slightly impaired for a few hours. Ask in advance if eye dilation will take place during your exam.

Vision History Questions

One of the most important elements of an eye exam is for the doctor to learn more about your vision and the vision history that runs in your family. By doing your research and being able to quickly and accurately answer these types of questions, you can help to expedite the process. The doctor can then use this important information to evaluate your full condition and determine if you may be at risk for any complications.

The eye doctor may ask questions such as:

  1. What, if any, eye problems are you currently experiencing?
  2. Have you experienced eye problems in the past?
  3. Do you currently wear contacts or glasses? If so, are you satisfied by them?
  4. Have you ever had corrective or non-corrective eye surgery?
  5. Are you currently taking any medications? (If so, be prepared to list them.)
  6. Do you have any medication, food, or other allergies?
  7. Were you born prematurely, or experienced any other birth abnormalities or issues?
  8. Do you have a family history of eye disorders, such as glaucoma or macular degeneration?
  9. Do you have a family history of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, or any other conditions that may affect the body as a whole?

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