Even if your eyes are healthy, it is a good idea to have an eye exam once every few years. If you wear corrective lenses or if you have a medical diagnosis, such as diabetes, that may affect your eyesight, you should have an eye exam once a year.
An eye exam consists of a series of tests to evaluate your vision and to check for any eye diseases such as macular degeneration or glaucoma. If you want to benefit from your eye exam, there are a few steps to take before you arrive for your appointment.
Think about why you want to get your eyes examined. Is it a routine checkup or have you been having problems with your eyesight such as blurred vision, double vision or poor night vision? Do you have any questions about your eyesight that you would like your optometrist or ophthalmologist to address. If so, right the issues down as you think of them.
Even if you are sure you will remember what you need to say to the eye care professional, it is easy to get sidetracked during an appointment and forget to ask about things you want to know. Writing them down will help ensure that all your concerns are addressed.
Bring the Appropriate Paperwork
There is some paperwork you should bring to your eye exam. First, bring alone any insurance cards. If you don’t have vision insurance, or if you have a deductible or co-payment, arrive prepared to pay. Most professionals accept cash, checks, debit and credit cards.
Second, your eye care professional may ask you to fill out some forms dealing with your vision and health issues. Your provider will probably want to know the name of your primary care physician. He or she will also want a complete list of any prescription and non-prescription medications you are taking. It’s easier to complete these forms at home and bring them with you to your appointment.
Plan for Safety
Your optometrist or ophthalmologist may want to dilate your eyes during the exam. Dilating your eyes can help your provider check for the presence of diseases. Dilation temporarily inhibits the ability of your pupils to contract in bright light. If dilation is going to be part of your exam, plan to bring along a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes.
Most providers will strongly urge you to avoid driving after your eyes are dilated. You may want to arrange for ride share or for a friend or family member to take you home after the appointment is over.
Getting regular eye exams is an important part of your healthcare. Before you go to an eye appointment, make sure you make note of anything you want to discuss with your provider. You should also bring along any documentation your provider has requested. Finally, if your eyes are going to be dilated, arrange for transportation to get home.