Do I Need to Bring Anything for my Eye Exam Appointment?
I never really understood why new patients don't bring anything to their eye exam appointments. Many patients expect me to explain their complete eye history and how their eyes have changed when no previous information has been provided. Or they assume all that information is in a universal database some where on the internet that I have access to. The truth of the matter is, when you're a new patient at my clinic, I know nothing about you. So to make your experience a more informative and thorough one, I always request patients to bring the following:
1. Your current glasses, sunglasses, and contact lens boxes if you wear them.
Bring all of the eyewear you have been using since your last exam. I can compare your new prescription to the one(s) you have been using and let you know if they are the best prescription for you. If you wear contact lenses, bring the boxes or labels. You will likely be asked to remove your contacts at some time during the exam, so be prepared and bring your case and solutions along too.
2. A list of your current medications, supplements and any eye drops you use.
In order for me to provide the optimum care, I need to know all medications, supplements, and eye drops you are currently using, not just the ones that are directly linked to your eyes. Many medications have side effects that can affect your eyes and vision. It is best if you can include the dosage and how often you take them too.
3. Family history
Having a clear family history can be very helpful in diagnosing and monitoring for any eye conditions. I find it helpful to know if anyone in your immediate family had or has an eye disease or any general health conditions
4. Appropriate health care cards or insurance information
Depending on your age, you may receive some coverage for your eye exam through the Medical Services Plan, so bring this card just in case. If you have extended health benefits through work or other health insurance you may want to check into their specific coverage before coming to your examination so you are prepared. But even with all of that, there may still be some out of pocket expenses so be prepared with cash, debit and/or credit cards.
5. The name of your primary care doctor
Optometrists work as part of your overall health team and with your consent may want to communicate with your family physician the results of your eye examination or request further information from them to assist in your vision care plan.
So, for all new patients out there...now you know what to bring to ensure all your questions are answered at your next eye exam. Please don't naturally assume I can read your mind!