1. Your General HealthInform your eye doctor of any present health conditions or problems you have such as diabetes, high blood pressure, pregnancy, allergies, and serious illnesses. The eyes may be affected by the slightest changes in the body. Your eye doctor needs to know possible causes for abnormalities, if any, that he finds in your eyes or vision.
2. Your Health HistoryTell your eye doctor about any past illnesses or diseases that have affected you or your immediate family. Your eye doctor especially needs to be informed of any family history of eye diseases, such as glaucoma and macular degeneration, since many eye diseases seem to be inherited. Having a family history of certain eye diseases puts you at risk for developing them yourself. Also, discuss any previous eye surgeries and eye trauma you have experienced.
3. Changes in Your VisionLet your eye doctor know if you have noticed any changes in your eyes and vision. For example, a sudden increase in spots or floaters could be an early sign of an eye condition that needs prompt attention. Report any changes including flashes of light, spots and floaters, blurriness, double vision, itchiness and fatigue. Your eye doctor will search for a cause of the condition and suggest possible treatments or remedies.
Remember to bring your old eyeglasses or your most recent pair to the exam, even if you wear contact lenses most of the time. Examining your present eyeglasses gives your eye doctor valuable information about your eyes.
4. Your Current MedicationsIt is extremely important to inform your eye doctor of any and all medications you are currently taking. Prescription and non-prescription drugs can sometimes affect the eyes and vision. Also, your current medications could interact with any new medications your eye doctor prescribes. Some medications, when taken together, could cause severe complications.
5. Your Current LifestyleIn order to help you see your best, your eye doctor needs to know about your lifestyle and social habits. Do you drink alcohol or smoke? Both alcohol and tobacco can cause ill effects in the eyes. How do you use your eyes? Does your job require long hours in front of a computer? Are you an avid reader? Your eye doctor will consider your lifestyle when determining your vision correction needs, if any.
6. Your Contact Lens Status
Discuss any contact lens problems or preferences with your eye doctor. The following information about contact lens use will help determine possible modifications to your current contact lens prescription and regimen.
- Do you wear them now?
- Do you want to wear them?
- What do you use to clean them?
- How do you clean them, and how often?
- Do you sleep in them?
- Do you want to sleep in them?
- Do you swim in them?
Source: California Optometric Society, Eye Help. Things to Tell Your Optometrist. 2004.