If you're having difficulty with your vision, start by seeing either an optometrist or ophthalmologist. To make the most of your time with your doctor, it's a good idea to prepare for your appointment. Here's some information to help you prepare and to know 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.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins and supplements that you're taking.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Preparing a list of questions ahead of time can help you make the most of your time with your doctor. List your questions from most important to least important. For presbyopia, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
- Are there any other possible causes?
- Do I need any tests other than a complete eye examination?
- What treatments are available?
- What are the side effects or possible problems associated with each treatment?
- Which treatment would you recommend for me?
- What are the alternatives to the primary approach that you're suggesting?
- If I have other eye conditions, how can I best manage these conditions together?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared, don't hesitate to ask additional questions that may occur to you during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, including some that relate to your general health, your medical history, your eye health history, your family medical history and your history of eye problems. Your doctor may ask:
- 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?
- Do you do a lot of reading or other close work?
What you can do in the meantime
If you're having difficulty seeing close up, make sure you have adequate lighting. You can also try using over-the-counter reading glasses.
Sep. 30, 2011
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- Optometric clinical practice guideline: Care of the patient with presbyopia. American Optometric Association. http://www.aoa.org/documents/CPG-17.pdf. Accessed Aug. 7, 2011.
- Policy statement: Frequency of eye exams. American Academy of Ophthalmology. http://one.aao.org/CE/PracticeGuidelines/ClinicalStatements_Content.aspx?cid=810eaf61-181e-41c8-a0e8-e1d122efe5a4. Accessed Aug. 7, 2011.
- Preferred practice pattern: Refractive errors & refractive surgery. American Academy of Ophthalmology. http://one.aao.org/CE/PracticeGuidelines/PPP_Content.aspx?cid=e6930284-2c41-48d5-afd2-631dec586286. Accessed Aug. 7, 2011.
- Garcia-Gonzalez M, et al. Visual outcomes of LASIK-induced monovision in myopic patients with presbyopia. American Journal of Ophthalmology. 2010;150:381.
- What is LASIK? U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/SurgeryandLifeSupport/LASIK/ucm061358.htm. Accessed Aug. 8, 2011.
- Alternative refractive surgery procedures. EyeSmart. http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/glasses-contacts-lasik/refractive-surgery-alternative-procedures.cfm. Accessed Aug. 8, 2011.
- Kubal AA. Multifocal versus accommodating intraocular lenses: A review of the current technology, outcomes, and complications. International Ophthalmology Clinics. 2011;51:131.
- Robertson DM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 24, 2011.
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