You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. However, in some cases when you call to set up an appointment, you may be referred to an eye doctor (ophthalmologist).
Because appointments can be brief, and because there's often a lot to discuss, it's a good idea to be well prepared for your appointment. Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
- Write down key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
- Bring a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements that you're taking.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Your time with your doctor is limited, so preparing a list of questions will help you make the most of your time together. List your questions from most important to least important in case time runs out. For astigmatism, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What is likely causing my symptoms?
- Other than the most likely cause, what are other possible causes for my symptoms?
- What kinds of tests do I need?
- Is my condition likely temporary or chronic?
- What is the best course of action?
- What are the alternatives to the primary approach that you're suggesting?
- I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- Are there any restrictions that I need to follow?
- Should I see a corneal specialist?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend visiting?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment at any time that you don't understand something.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:
Jan. 22, 2014
- When did you first begin experiencing symptoms?
- Have your symptoms been continuous, or occasional?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
- What is astigmatism? American Academy of Ophthalmology. http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/diseases/astigmatism.cfm. Accessed June 19, 2013.
- Mian SI. Visual impairment in adults: Refractive disorders and presbyopia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 21, 2013.
- Astigmatism. American Optometric Association. http://www.aoa.org/x4698.xml. Accessed June 19, 2013.
- Astigmatism symptoms. American Academy of Ophthalmology. http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/diseases/astigmatism-symptoms.cfm. Accessed June 19, 2013.
- Astigmatism diagnosis. American Academy of Ophthalmology. http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/diseases/astigmatism-diagnosis.cfm. Accessed June 19, 2013.
- What causes astigmatism? American Academy of Ophthalmology. http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/diseases/astigmatism-cause.cfm. Accessed June 19, 2013.
- Keratoconus diagnosis. American Academy of Ophthalmology. http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/diseases/keratoconus-diagnosis.cfm. Accessed June 19, 2013.
- Yanoff M, ed., et al. Ophthalmology. 3rd ed. Edinburgh, U.K.: Mosby Elsevier; 2009. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-04332-8..00042-1--s0040&isbn=978-0-323-04332-8&sid=1451791574&uniqId=414712936-6#4-u1.0-B978-0-323-04332-8..00042-1--s0040. Accessed June 19, 2013.
- Astigmatism treatment. American Academy of Ophthalmology. http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/diseases/astigmatism-treatment.cfm. Accessed June 21, 2013.
- Preferred practice pattern guidelines: Refractive errors and refractive surgery PPP. American Academy of Ophthalmology. http://one.aao.org/ce/practiceguidelines/ppp_content.aspx?cid=0bc8c7ce-26df-46da-bf2b-7e908bedaf64. Accessed June 21, 2013.
- Bower KS. Laser refractive surgery. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 21, 2013.
- Robertson DM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 12, 2013.
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