Are you going to the eye doctor? You should! Routine eye exams are essential for keeping your eyes healthy, especially if you’re over 40 or need to wear glasses or contacts due to a refractive error.
Remembering to go to the eye doctor can take time and effort. The first step is getting an appointment scheduled.
You can get the most out of your visit by talking to your eye doctor and asking questions about your eye health. Your eye doctor will do their best to keep you informed, but having questions about your specific needs can help steer the conversation.
It will also ensure you have everything you need to maintain your healthy vision. If you’re not sure where to start when talking to your eye doctor, keep reading for some of the best questions you can ask them:
How Do I Know If I Need New Glasses or Contacts?
You can ask your eye doctor how often you need new contacts or glasses. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, you should have yearly eye exams to get your prescription updated.
Your prescription will mostly stay the same during a year, but it can vary slightly. It may indicate an eye issue if it has changed a lot.
But when you get a new prescription, it may have mostly stayed the same as your old prescription. You may need to know if you should get new glasses and contacts.
Your eye doctor can help you by advising on your current prescription, old prescription, the kind of glasses and contacts you wear, and what your insurance covers. Most people like getting a new pair of glasses every year when their prescription changes, but your ophthalmologist can tell you more and work with you, depending on what your insurance covers.
Why Are My Eyes Dry?
Do your eyes feel like they’re burning, irritated, and gritty? These are some signs that they may be too dry.
Dry eyes may be temporary, but they can also be chronic. What you may be unaware of is that dry eyes are prevalent.
Your eyes may temporarily feel too dry due to the weather, contact lenses, or various environmental factors. But if your eyes frequently feel dried out, it may be due to dry eye syndrome.
Dry eye syndrome is a chronic condition. Most patients with dry eye syndrome need help that goes beyond environmental changes.
Your eye doctor can help you if you tell them about your dry eye symptoms by assessing your tear production and diagnosing you. They can also recommend various home remedies as well as professional treatment.
Am I a Good LASIK Candidate?
If you’re going to the eye doctor and you’re tired of wearing glasses or contacts, you should ask about LASIK and other vision correction procedures. If you see an optometrist, they won’t be able to perform any vision correction procedures.
However, they can tell if you might be a good candidate for vision correction procedures. They can also recommend an ophthalmologist who performs procedures like LASIK.
LASIK is one of many options for vision correction. Here at New England Eye Center, we offer some of the most popular vision correction procedures, including PRK, the EVO Visian ICL, and RLE.
If you’re interested in finding out if you’re a good candidate for one of these procedures, your next step should be scheduling a consultation to determine if visual freedom from glasses and contacts may be in your future.
How Often Should I Have an Eye Exam?
Your eye doctor can tell you how often you should schedule a routine eye exam. You should go every year if you wear glasses or contacts.
Otherwise, you can go less often. Most people only need to go once or twice in their twenties or thirties.
But when you turn 40, you should have a routine eye exam at least once every two years and then once every year by the time you turn 60.
But these recommendations are very general. You may need to see your eye doctor more often earlier in life if you’re at high risk for eye conditions. The only way to know how often you should have eye exams is to talk to your eye doctor and follow their specific recommendations.
These recommendations are often based on if you have a family history of certain eye conditions like glaucoma or age-related macular degeneration.
Am I At Risk for Any Age-Related Eye Diseases?
One of the most important reasons for going to the eye doctor is to check for common age-related eye conditions. Once you turn 40, you’re at higher risk for cataracts and other eye conditions.
The older you get, the higher your risk of developing these conditions. But there are also risk factors that can put you at risk earlier in life, like having certain medical conditions or a family history of eye disease.
Many eye conditions, like glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and macular degeneration, don’t show symptoms in the early stages. By the time visual symptoms do appear, they are permanent and irreversible.
Early diagnosis and treatment make it possible to manage these conditions to slow their progression. The problem is that any damage they’ve done to your vision is permanent, even if you’re receiving treatment. This is why it’s vital to have regular eye exams to ensure the earliest possible detection and treatment before vision loss occurs.
The only way to truly understand your risk of developing eye conditions is to talk to your eye doctor. You should also ensure your eye doctor knows your complete medical history.
For a complete picture, this should include your family medical history so they can properly assess your risk and recommend preventative measures, namely, eye exams, accordingly.
Do you need to make your eyes a priority? Start by scheduling an appointment at New England Eye Center in Boston, MA, now!