If you struggle to clearly read the newspaper or have to squint to identify a road sign while driving, it may be time to make an appointment with the ophthalmologist or optometrist.
Eye exams are meant for those with strained and perfect vision alike. Regular appointments with your eye doctor can help detect hereditary conditions before they appear or worsen, and can even help target signs of other health issues like diabetes.
If you know you need a check up on your vision health but don’t know where to start, here are five questions to get the ball rolling with your eye doctor:
- Do you accept my health insurance plan? Prior to making your appointment, assure that your ophthalmologist or optometrist accepts your healthcare plan. Have the office confirm your benefits and clarify any expenses you may incur.
- What can I expect during an exam? Appointments may vary from doctor to doctor, but usually, to start the conversation, your eye doctor will ask about your vision and medical history. They then may check your close and distance vision, have you read from charts of random letters, check your peripheral vision and/or color perception, test your eye pressure for glaucoma, and then examine the different parts of your eyes.
- Will my eyes be dilated for the exam? If so, you may need to wear sunglasses or other protection for the remainder of the day. Someone may also need to drive you home afterward.
- Would basic reading glasses or specialized lenses (such as progressives, transitions, or bifocals) be good options for me? Different lenses serve different purposes and usually suit different preferences. Ask for your doctor’s input on what they think may function best for you and the strength of vision support you’ll need.
- How should I properly care for my glasses and/or contacts? Confirm how to clean and store your vision tools so that any lenses, frames, or contact polymers stay in tact. It may also be helpful to ask about an appropriate replacement schedule and what solutions to use for cleaning, rinsing, and soaking.
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Photo credit: Brandon Burbank