Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

To check for macular degeneration, a dilated eye exam is generally necessary. Make an appointment with a doctor who specializes in eye care — an optometrist or an ophthalmologist — who can evaluate your condition and perform a comprehensive eye exam.

What you can do

Appointments can be brief. Make the best use of the limited time by preparing beforehand. For instance:

  • Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. When you make the appointment, ask if there's anything you need to do in advance.
  • Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to your vision problem.
  • Make a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements that you're taking.
  • Ask a family member or friend to accompany you. Having your pupils dilated for the eye exam may compromise your vision for a time afterward. You may need someone to drive or accompany you home from your appointment.

Questions to ask your eye doctor

  • What kind of macular degeneration do I have?
  • What is the visual acuity in my central vision?
  • How advanced is my macular degeneration?
  • Is it safe for me to drive?
  • Will I experience further vision loss?
  • Will taking a vitamin or mineral supplement help prevent further vision loss?
  • What's the best way to monitor my vision for any changes?
  • What low vision aids or adaptive devices might be helpful to me?

Questions your eye doctor may ask

  • When did you first notice your vision problem?
  • Does the condition affect one or both eyes?
  • Do you have trouble seeing things near to you, at a distance or both?
  • Do you smoke?
  • Do you have other medical problems such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes?
  • Do you take any vitamins or supplements?
  • What medications do you take?
  • What types of foods do you eat?
  • Do you have a family history of macular degeneration?
Nov. 20, 2012

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