Eye Doctor Appointment: What to Expect
Don’t skip your annual eye doctor visit because you think you can see just fine. Eye exams aren’t only for people with poor vision. They’re an important way to find eye problems before symptoms show up. Your eye doctor can also catch other problems, like diabetes, early on.
If it’s been more than a few years since your last visit, or if you’ve never had one, it’s time get one on the calendar now.
How Do I Choose a Doctor?
Should you choose an optometrist (OD) or an ophthalmologist (MD) for your initial eye exam? If this is a routine checkup, you can go with either one. If you have or think you might have an eye problem like cataracts or another condition that may require surgery, an ophthalmologist is the right choice. Other issues like a routine treating of glaucoma or diabetic eye health checks can be handled by either of the two types of doctors.
What Should I Bring?
What Happens During the Visit?
After you fill out new-patient paperwork, you’ll go to the exam room to meet the doctor. The exact type of exam will vary. But here are some things you can expect:
How long will it take? If it’s your first visit to your new eye doctor, allow an hour or two. That includes time to get the exam and to get fitted for a prescription if you need it. Later appointments won’t take as much time.
Before You Leave the Office
How Often Should I Go?
Everyone needs eye exams. Different medical organizations have different recommendations for how often you need to go. A good rule of thumb:
You’ll need to get checkups more often if you have health conditions or a family history of vision problems likes glaucoma, macular degeneration, or corneal diseases.
When else should you see the eye doctor? If you have a sudden vision change, eye pain, or severe irritation.