Preparing for your appointment

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

What you can do

  • Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. At the time you make the appointment, ask if you need to do anything in advance.
  • List any symptoms you're experiencing, including those that seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
  • List key personal information, including major stresses and recent life changes.
  • List all medications, vitamins and supplements that you're taking, including doses.
  • Ask a family member or friend to come with you. You may wish to ask someone who could drive you home if your eyes are dilated as a part of your exam. Or this person could write down information from your doctor or other clinic staff during the appointment.
  • List questions to ask your doctor.

For retinal detachment, some basic questions include:

  • What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
  • What are other possible causes of my symptoms?
  • What tests do I need? Do they require any special preparation?
  • Is my condition likely temporary or ongoing?
  • What are my treatment options, and which do you recommend?
  • What are the alternatives to the first approach that you're suggesting?
  • I have another medical condition. How can I best manage them together?
  • Do I need to restrict my activities in any way?
  • Do I need to see another specialist?
  • Do you have any brochures or other printed material I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?
  • What will determine whether I should plan for a follow-up visit?
  • If I need surgery, how long will recovery take?
  • Will I be able to travel after surgery? Will it be safe to travel by plane?

What to expect from your doctor

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

  • When did you first start having symptoms?
  • Do you have your symptoms all the time, or do they come and go?
  • How severe are your symptoms?
  • Have you had any symptoms in your other eye?
  • Have you ever had an eye injury?
  • Have you ever experienced eye inflammation?
  • Have you ever had eye surgery?
  • Do you have any other medical conditions, such as diabetes?
  • Have any of your family members ever had a retinal detachment?
April 12, 2016
References
  1. AskMayoExpert. Retinal detachment. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.
  2. Lumi Xhevat, et al. Ageing of the vitreous: From acute onset floaters and flashes to retinal detachment. Ageing Research Reviews. 2015;21:71.
  3. Posterior vitreous detachment, retinal breaks, and lattice degeneration PPP. San Francisco, Calif.: American Academy of Ophthalmology.http://www.aao.org/preferred-practice-pattern/posterior-vitreous-detachment-retinal-breaks-latti-6. Accessed Jan. 15, 2016.
  4. Arroyo JG. Retinal detachment. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 3, 2016.
  5. Gilca M, et al. Factors associated with outcomes of pneumatic retinopexy for rhegmatogenous retinal detachments: A retrospective review of 422 cases. Retina. 2014;34:693.
  6. Information for healthy vision. National Eye Institute. http://www.nei.nih.gov/lowvision/content/resources. Accessed Jan. 15, 2016.
  7. Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. Retinal surgery and care after. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2013.
  8. Yanoff M, et al., eds. Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment. In: Ophthalmology. 4th ed. Edinburgh, U.K.: Mosby Elsevier; 2014. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 15, 2016.
  9. Creating a comfortable environment for people with low vision. American Foundation for the Blind. http://www.afb.org/info/low-vision/living-with-low-vision/creating-a-comfortable-environment-for-people-with-low-vision/235. Accessed Jan. 22, 2016.
  10. Tintinalli JE, et al. Eye emergencies. Tintinalli's Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2016. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/content.aspx?bookid=1658&sectionid=10944427. Accessed Jan. 22, 2016.
  11. Robertson DM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 2, 2016.