Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

If you're having difficulty with your vision, start by seeing an eye specialist (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.

What you can do

  • List 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 you're taking.
  • Consider taking along a family member or a friend who drives. You may not want to drive yourself home if your pupils have been dilated for the exam. And your companion can help remember information provided during your appointment.
  • List questions to ask your doctor.

Preparing a list of questions 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?
  • Are the medications that I am taking causing these symptoms?
  • Do I need any tests other than a complete eye examination?
  • How often will I need eye exams?
  • 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 drugstore reading glasses safe to use?
  • Do you have any brochures or other printed material 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

Make sure you have adequate lighting. You can also try using over-the-counter (nonprescription) reading glasses.

Oct. 17, 2014