To make the most of your eye doctor’s appointment, it’s important to plan ahead. Through a comprehensive eye exam, an ophthalmologist can learn about your eye health and physical health. A simple eye exam can identify diabetes, hypertension, autoimmune conditions, thyroid disease, high cholesterol and cancer. When you leave your appointment, you should be confident that your eye health and physical health are in optimal ranges.
Below are the most important questions to ask your eye doctor at your next eye exam.
Q1. What examinations am I having done today?
Ask your eye doctor in advance what tests they will perform during your eye appointment. A typical eye exam includes a visual acuity test, color blindness test, cover test, eye movements test, depth perception test, retinoscopy, refraction, slit lamp exam and glaucoma test. Your eye doctor may also want to dilate your eyes to check for retinal diseases.
Q2. Am I at risk for developing eye disease?
You may be at risk for developing eye disease based on your history, previous eye injuries or the presence of underlying health conditions like diabetes or hypertension. Talk to your doctor about your risks and what you can do to lower them. Usually, this includes eating an eye healthy diet and controlling your weight.
Q3. How should I best monitor my eye health?
If you are at risk for eye disease, talk to your eye physician about what symptoms to be on alert for. Some eye diseases are silent, such as glaucoma, and may not have any symptoms at all. Other diseases, such as cataracts, can produce cloudy vision and sensitivity to light. By monitoring your eye health, you can identify problems early on and prevent permanent vision loss.
Q4. What lifestyle changes do you recommend?
By eating a healthy diet, getting enough rest and being physically active, you support your overall health. Get specific with your doctor, as some recommendations change with age. For example, is it possible that you could benefit from taking a certain vitamin? Should you be wearing a wide-brimmed hat in addition to your sunglasses? Do you smoke and need advice on how to quit? Your eye doctor can point you in the right direction.
Q5. How often should I schedule my appointments?
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, all adults should have a complete eye exam by age 40, unless they are at risk for diabetes or high blood pressure. Your eye doctor will let you know how often they’d like to see you, which will probably be every one to two years. By age 65, your eye doctor will likely recommend yearly exams to watch for cataracts, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.
These five questions should open the dialogue between you and your ophthalmologist. If you are not satisfied with your current doctor, don’t hesitate to get a second opinion. Sometimes, a new doctor can provide a new perspective on your situation.
To schedule an appointment with the retinal specialists from Empire Retina Consultants, contact us today.