You might be going to a regularly scheduled eye exam. You may be following a recommendation to see an eye doctor after a vision screening at a local clinic or wellness center. But remember, vision screenings offered by health clinics, pediatricians, public schools or local charitable organizations are not a substitute for comprehensive eye exams.
For regularly scheduled eye exams, expect to talk about any changes in your medical history since the last time you saw your eye doctor. And if this is your first time in a new practice, you’ll be asked to provide a more complete medical history, including a list of medications you’re currently taking, and any vision problems your parents may have experienced. Also be sure to bring in all eyewear that you are currently wearing so it can be evaluated by your eyecare professional.
In addition, you’ll undergo a series of vision screenings and other types of vision testing that help determine your general eye health and quality of your vision. These tests also help to check that your current prescription glasses or contacts (if you have one) is still meeting your vision needs. Your eye doctor will also check your eyes for signs of any potential vision problems or eye diseases.
You’ll then have an honest discussion about the current state of your eye health and vision, and your eye doctor may “prescribe” vision correction for you in the form of eyeglasses or contact lenses. Any health concerns or possibly serious vision complications will also be discussed, including the next steps you must take to preserve and protect your sight.
In general, a routine eye exam will last less than an hour depending upon the number of tests you have, and may be partially or completely covered by many vision insurance plans.
For eye doctor visits that result from eye pain, eye discomfort or a condition or injury you can actually see, expect to take many of the steps involved in a routine eye exam along with others specific to the symptoms you’re having. There may be a number of additional tests required as well, so it’s important – especially when suffering pain or discomfort – to allow for as much time as possible for a complete, comprehensive eye exam.
And if you feel you are in an emergency situation with your eyes or your vision – don’t wait. Seek immediate emergency medical treatment.
Many vision problems and eye diseases often present minimal, if any, symptoms. That’s why it’s so important to make regular appointments to see your eye doctor. And since vision can change gradually over time, it’s important to know that you’re seeing your best, year after year.
Remember the following for your next eye doctor visit:
Most importantly, remember that eye doctors – and everyone within the eye-care practice – are there to help you see and feel your best.