What You Need to Know About Visiting the Eye Doctor

Many people have an eye doctor that they see regularly to help them with their vision concerns.  However, several people have never seen this medical specialist.  They assume that their vision is fine.  While this assumption is probably ok, there are many reasons it is important to visit the eye doctor throughout your life.  In fact, even people with perfect vision can benefit from seeing their optometrist on occasion.  Learn more about the purpose of these visits, what to expect when you see this specialist, how often you should go, and how to prepare below.

Purpose of a Visit to the Eye Doctor

Although many people assume that a trip to the eye doctor is necessary to determine if their vision is correct, there are other reasons why you might want to visit this specialist.  During an eye exam, other health problems can be identified.  For example, many optometrists are able to catch diabetes in its early stages during their exams.  They can also identify eye diseases like glaucoma.  Postponing an appointment with the doctor could worsen these conditions if you have them.

What Happens During Your Appointment

Many people get nervous about the visit to the eye doctor because their eyes are sensitive.  Although it can be stressful to feel like your eyes are under a microscope, the examinations are not uncomfortable.  Most of the tests performed during your time with the doctor test your vision to determine if you need glasses.  In particular, you might have the following exams:

  • Chart reading from a distance
  • Testing your ability to see in 3D
  • Testing your color perception

The doctor will most likely dilate your eyes with drops so that he or she can get a better view of them during their exam.  In addition, you will probably get a tonometry exam for glaucoma.  This test lasts less than a minute and is not painful.  Finally, your doctor will probably discuss your health and medical history.  All of this information will help him or her to determine the health of your eyes and vision. 

How Often Should You Go to the Eye Doctor?

Since most people visit the eye doctor when their vision begins to deteriorate, few realize when they should actually schedule appointments to see their eye doctor.  Obviously, those who have vision problems check in with their optometrist on a regular basis.  However, those who do not should adhere to the following guidelines:

  • During your 20s, check your eyes once.
  • During your 30s, check your eyes twice.
  • When you reach 40, schedule regular follow-ups with the eye doctor (depending on your health)
  • When you reach 65, see the eye doctors every year.
  • Children will need their vision checked when they are born, at 6 months, when they turn 3, and before they enter kindergarten.  Most pediatricians incorporate this into their regular checkups.

Preparing for Your Visit

In order for your visit with the eye doctor to go as smoothly as possible, it is important to be prepared.  The following is a list of things that you will want to bring with you to your appointment:

  • Your contacts or eyeglasses (if you have any)
  • A list of your current medications, supplements, vitamins, and allergies
  • Your insurance information
  • Questions you have for the doctor

Also, It might be wise to avoid wearing your contacts for a few days before your appointment.  This helps the doctor get better measurements.  If you are not sure if you should do this, you can always ask the doctor’s office for their suggestions when you schedule your appointment.

Hopefully, your visit to the optometrist will be informative and helpful.  It is always wise to take care of your health.  

Article courtesy of Zenni Optical. Follow Zenni on Twitter @zennioptical or read more glasses fashion tips and technology updates on the Zenni Blog.