Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor. He or she may then refer you to an eye specialist (ophthalmologist). Because appointments can be brief, it's a good idea to be well-prepared for your appointment.

What you can do

  • List any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
  • List key personal information, including any recent life changes.
  • Make a list of all medications, vitamins and supplements that you're taking.
  • List questions to ask your doctor.

For dry eyes, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What's the most likely cause of my dry eyes?
  • Do I need any tests?
  • Can dry eyes get better on their own?
  • What are my treatment options?
  • What are the potential side effects of each treatment?
  • I have other health conditions. How can I best manage these conditions together?
  • Is a generic drug available for the medicine you're prescribing me?
  • Do you have any brochures or other printed material that I can take with me?
  • What websites do you recommend?
  • Do I need to plan for a follow-up visit?

Don't hesitate to ask additional questions that may occur to you during your appointment.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor may ask:

  • Can you describe your symptoms?
  • Do you recall when you first began experiencing symptoms?
  • Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
  • Do other members of your family have dry eyes?
  • Have you tried over-the-counter eyedrops? Did they provide relief?
  • Are your symptoms worse in the morning or late in the day?
  • What medications do you take?
  • Have you had any radiation to the head or neck?

What you can do in the meantime

To relieve your signs and symptoms while you wait for your appointment, try over-the-counter eyedrops. Look for lubricating eyedrops (artificial tears) and avoid those that advocate reducing redness in the eyes. Eyedrops that reduce eye redness can cause additional eye irritation.

July 24, 2015