Eye exam is a critical part in maintaining your overall health and well-being for both adults and children, and consequently, every individual should incorporate regular eye checkup into health routine. Comprehensive eye exams help to assess vision, the eye health and visual impairment, diagnosing early signs of disease that may not have visible symptoms. Eye tests might sound intimidating but in reality they are harmless and painless procedures conducted by medical professionals. These exams determine if a patient requires glasses or contacts or just an updated prescription.
Optometrists & Ophthalmologists:
A common confusion is regarding the difference between choosing between optometrists and ophthalmologists. Optometrists eye doctor who are trained to perform eye tests, provide prescriptions for eyeglasses and contact lenses. They diagnose and treat eye diseases such as glaucoma, dry eyes, or eye infections that may require medication or drops. They as advice patients in pre- or post-op surgical care but they do not perform complex surgeries. On the other hand, ophthalmologists are able to do all the vision testing that optometrists can but they also specialize in performing eye surgeries such as cataract surgery, refractive surgery such as LASIK and retinal detachment.
Make A List
The first step in getting ready for eye checkup is to make a list of all vision problems including the difficulty in distinguishing colors. It is also essential to identify family history of eye problems such as glaucoma, cataracts, or macular degeneration. Some issues might be genetic and if a family member has previously been afflicted with such conditions, then the patient may be at higher risk of developing the same conditions. Patients should also take into account recent health issues like diabetes or hypertension, consumption of medication with side effects that affect the eye.
Conduct Proper Research
It goes without saying that patients should conduct research on the type of doctor they want to consult and also to determine the best in the field. A basic internet search can give out a list of all the best doctors who offer services in a particular location and the services he/she specializes in, such as retina, cornea, glaucoma, neurology, and pediatric. Sometimes insurance companies provide review and a list of licensed doctor that they recommend.
Setting Up The Appointment:
If vision problems persist, it might be an urgent case. There are guidelines for how frequently people should have an eye exam depending on their age and whether or not they are at risk for visual impairment. Patients should conduct their research quickly and choose an eye doctor to consult immediately. It is quite straight-forward to setup an appointment over the phone. Nowadays, many doctors and medical institution also have online services to set up an appointment. It is smart to ask the consultation charges and also if the pupils will be dilated during and after exam. In such a scenario, patients might not have clear vision and therefore a friend or family member can accompany to the doctor’s visit. Patients might also have to decide whether to seek special services such as a contact lens fitting, or other specialized testing like a LASIK or glaucoma consultation. These services might not be included in the initial costs and it’s best to inquire first hand, than at time of appointment.
What To Carry?
If the patient already has a pre-existing condition, then he/she must also carry reports of the previous visits. These also include current glasses, sunglasses, and contact lenses. The patient should also carry a list of all current medications including dietary supplements that he/she might be using. The eye doctor can make an informed decision if any of the medications or combinations could potentially affect or aggravate vision problems.
On the appointment day, patients should bring along their insurance card and ID, if applicable. These are both documents that the clinic may have to photocopy in case of new patients to start a new file. In case of minors, the parent or guardian may need to carry their insurance card and ID.
Finally, the rule of thumb is to be prepared for the unexpected and carry all medical and insurance documents. Following these points would result in a simple and swift eye exam that might potentially save the patient’s vision.