Preparing for your appointment

You may start by seeing your primary care doctor. He or she may refer you to a doctor who specializes in treating disorders of the eye (ophthalmologist). In some instances, your eye doctor may refer you to someone who specializes in ophthalmic plastic surgery for the eye.

Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment.

What you can do

Before your appointment make a list of:

  • Symptoms you've been having, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment
  • All medications, vitamins and supplements you take, including doses
  • Any eyedrops that you've been taking
  • Questions to ask your doctor

For a blocked tear duct, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
  • Are there other possible causes?
  • Do I need any tests?
  • How long will my condition last?
  • What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?
  • What side effects can I expect from treatment?
  • Is this condition related to another medical disorder?
  • If I don't have anything done to correct this problem, what are the risks to my vision?
  • Do you have any brochures or other printed materials that I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:

  • When did your symptoms begin?
  • Do you experience your symptoms all the time, or do they come and go?
  • Does anything relieve your symptoms?
  • Have you used any eyedrops for this problem?
  • Have you had any previous surgery to your eyes or eyelid?
  • Have you had facial trauma, injuries, radiation treatment or surgery?
  • Have you ever had any facial nerve conditions, such as Bell's palsy?
  • Do you have any medical problems, such as diabetes or long-standing skin disorders, such as atopic dermatitis?
  • Have you ever been diagnosed with a thyroid disorder?
  • Do you use contact lenses? Have you used contacts in the past?