Consumers who want to get the most from their eye examinations and walk away satisfied should tell their optometrist a thing or two.

Facts about patients’ health, how they use their eyes and symptoms of vision problems they have noticed are the kinds of things optometrists want and need to know, says Dr. Jeffrey Garcia. This information is noted in patietns’ records during the taking or updating of the case history prior to starting the actual vision tests. It is a good idea to gather the facts at home and write them down so nothing is forgotten.

Consumers should also feel free to ask their optometrist about ways to protect their eyes, maintain good eye health and prevent the development of vision problems.

Things to tell your doctor of optometry about include:

  • Chronic health conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or allergies you or any close family members have. Because your eyes are a part of your body, they are affected by your general health.
  • Eye health problems, like glaucoma, that seem to run in your family.
  • Prescription and non-prescription medications, including birth control pills and acne medications with tetracyclines, you are taking. Drugs sometimes can affect your eyes and vision.
  • How you use your eyes at work, whatever your job and wherever you work, your eyes do many different tasks. To help you see as well as you can for all of them, your optometrist needs to know what those tasks are, how long and how often you do them, the distance between your eyes and each task, and details about your work environment. Such information helps determine the exact prescription and nay special lens design needed to give you sharp, comfortable vision on the job.
  • Your hobbies and sports, you may use your eyes differently for recreational activities than you do on the job. Your optometrist can help you decide whether or not you need a special pair of glasses or eye safety equipment for your hobby or sport.
  • Problems or difficulties you are having with your eyes. These are often significant clues in helping to pinpoint a vision problem. Some things you might note are blurred vision at any seeing distance, momentary blurred vision when changing your view from a distant object to a near one or vice versa, double vision, seeing spots or floaters, any change in your ability OT see or distinguish colors, accident proneness, a change in your sports performance, headaches, difficulty seeing at night or in dim light, or burning, itching or tired eyes.
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