Updated: Jul 29, 2022
The miracle of sight is something many of us take for granted. In reality, the health of our eyes is delicate and takes concerted effort to maintain. It is for this reason that consistent appointments with your eye doctor—preferably annually—are so important.
Going to the eye doctor is only half of the battle, though. To maximize the usefulness of the appointment and keep your eyes on a healthy track, you should be familiar with eye health basics and equipped with pertinent questions for your doctor.
Having a genuine conversation with your doctor is key to staying informed and ensuring your eye appointment is as productive as possible. You don’t have to be an eye expert to have such a conversation, either. That’s why we put together a quick guide to the most important questions to ask and discuss at your next eye appointment.
What Tests are You Doing?
Chances are, your eye doctor will perform a set of basic tests to check your eyes, identify any potential issues, and compare the results to your previous appointments. Having an understanding of these tests, the instruments used, and what the doctor is searching for can help ease any anxiety you may have and facilitate conversation after the fact.
Asking ahead of time what tests will be performed can also prepare you for any side effects, such as blurry vision, and plan accordingly.
What are the Test Results?
Your doctor is sure to share your test results with you as soon as they have them. Showing a genuine curiosity and interest in the results, as well as what they mean, will help create an open dialogue between you and your doctor in which you both feel free to voice your concerns, ask questions, and otherwise deepen the doctor-patient relationship you share.
What is the Prognosis?
If your doctor does identify a potential issue, you will want to obtain a clear picture of the concern, what’s at stake, and what you should expect. Your doctor should explain what the issue is, whether your condition is stable or subject to change, and what treatments may be available.
Your doctor is also fully aware that you are (probably) not an eye doctor, so feel free to ask as many questions as you feel necessary to comprehend the details of the situation. Having a firm grasp on the current concern and potential plans going forward will help ease your nerves and prepare you for the changes ahead.
What Should I Look Out For?
If a condition is discovered or there is an area of concern to your doctor, knowing what warning signs and symptoms to look out for can ensure the early detection of worsening problems. Ask your doctor what those signs and symptoms may look like, as well as when you should contact them if a change does occur.
What Can I Do?
Maintaining your eye health and vision can sometimes be accomplished through healthy lifestyle changes. Consulting your doctor on this topic is a good idea, as they can advise you with personalized plans for your unique eye health and factors.
From dietary changes to reduced screen times, the lifestyle changes that can aid your eyes are numerous and (typically) easy to implement.
While there are several more questions you could and should ask your eye doctor, such as how often you should have appointments, those listed above will provide you with a fantastic foundation on which to build a conversation and relationship with your eye specialist.