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?