Are you planning an appointment with your ophthalmologist? Make the most of your appointment by asking the right questions. If you’re nervous about seeing your eye doctor, asking questions is even more important. There is a lot of equipment that eye physicians use, and it helps to understand what everything is for.
Here are four key questions we recommend asking your ophthalmologist at each visit:
1- What tests will I undergo today?
Once you sit down with the ophthalmologist, ask them what tests are being done. A typical eye exam includes a visual acuity test where you read numbers and letters off a chart. If you have signs of refractive errors you will be fitted for eyeglasses or contacts.
Based on your history and risk factors, additional imaging and diagnostic testing may be done. Most tests are painless, and unless you’re having your eyes dilated you should be able to drive home after.
2- What are the best ways to care for my eyes?
Your eyes change over time, so it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor about how to best care for them. Most eye doctors will tell you to eat a well-balanced diet that is shown to supports healthy vision. This diet includes deep-ocean fish, leafy greens, and citrus fruits.
Daily exercise is also important because it nourishes the eyes with proper blood flow. Also, wearing sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats when outdoors protects the eyes from sun damage.
3- Am I at risk for developing eye disease?
Some people are more at risk for developing eye disease, and it’s important to know if you are one of them. Ophthalmologists are able to determine risk based on your family history and diet, lifestyle, and environment. For example, if you smoke and are overweight, you have a higher risk of developing eye disease.
4- How often should I schedule my eye exams?
As long as you don’t have any underlying problems, most doctors recommend visiting the eye doctor every two years. Once you are around 60 years old, the frequency should go up to each year. However, if you have risk factors for developing eye disease, or if you wear contacts or glasses, you will have to see your eye physician more regularly.
Treat your ophthalmologist as you do your doctor. Make use of your appointments, ask the right questions, and plan your appointments regularly. At the end of the day your eyes will thank you!