Good Foresight: Tips for Visiting the Optometrist

Posted on: 29 November 2016

Though our eyesight is extremely important, we often don't do everything we can to protect it.  With our jobs, families and friends keeping us busy, it can be difficult to schedule out appointments for things such as optometrists, especially if you feel there's nothing wrong with your vision.  Besides, it can be awkward when you get there.  However, biting the bullet and going along regularly to optometry appointments can seriously help you in the long run!  Here are some top tips for making your visit easy and stress-free.

Stick to a Schedule

Decide on a schedule and keep to it.  Experts recommend that we have our eyes comprehensively tested every one to two years.  Two years should be fine if your eyes are generally healthy and you're experiencing no problems.  If you wear contact lenses, have eye problems or have a frequently changing prescription, you may wish to make it once a year.  Whatever you decide on, keep to that schedule.  If your optometrist allows you to book appointments far in advance, why not book the next appointment as you're leaving so that you can't forget?  Once it's pencilled into your calendar, it's less of a concern for you.

Come Prepared

You don't need to do anything special to your eyes before an eye test - but there are some things you should remember to bring.  Firstly, always bring your glasses or contact lenses to your appointment, if you wear them.  Also, some medications can affect your eyes, so it's worth mentioning to your optometrist if you've switched to anything new.  If you like, you can take them along with you to make sure you know exactly what you're taking, and how much.

Answer Honestly

Many patients report feeling stressed or nervous during their eye exam.  Often, this is because they feel pressured to make choices between two options the optometrist gives them, and can't see a difference.  It seems obvious, but don't panic - if you can't see a difference between the two options, it's okay to say so!  You don't absolutely need to make a decision, and it won't harm your eye test results.  You can't 'make a mistake'; the optometrist will check and double check your results in any case.  Equally, you should be sure to answer any other questions the optometrist has honestly.  If you spend all day in front of a computer screen, don't downplay it!  They may be able to recommend some protective lenses that will help you or watch out for signs of additional strain.

It's certainly not the most fun way to spend half an hour, but it's well worth taking time out of your schedule to protect your eyesight.  For saying you only need to go once every one or two years, it's the kind of time sacrifice you can surely afford to make - and it need not be any more stressful than a general health checkup.