Tips to Prepare for an Eye Exam
You often hear that the frequency of eye exams depend on your age. It really doesn’t.
At Image Optometry, we endorse the North American Optometric Association’s adage that everyone should “Check Yearly, See Clearly”.
There are exceptions: those that are undergoing growth spurts (like pre-adolescent, and adolescents) – their eyes may undergo more rapid changes in those critical periods of development, or those with end-stage cataract development (they too will notice more sudden eye glass prescription changes, and of course those who’s health history dictates a more frequent look in the back of the eye. Diabetics, or those with or with a high risk of Glaucoma, macular degeneration, or high-risk medications – this however is a whole other topic and deserves a separate blog.
If you’re younger than 40 and have no eye problems, your doctor might suggest you get routine tests every 2 years.
Or may even tell you that you don’t need any tests.
This type of thinking is largely a result of vision insurance company’s influence and their own policy of reimbursement frequency.
Many insurance companies are updating their philosophy to pay out yearly eye exam reimbursements.
Historically, dentistry required assistance from the public to push the Group benefit providers to modernize and better serve the ‘customer’s’ needs.
So, it’s generally agreed that if you’ve had eye trouble in the past, or if you’re at risk for developing any of the aforementioned ‘silent” sight stealers, even if it’s only someone in your family, then you should see an eye doctor every year.
How should you prepare for an eye exam?
When you make the appointment for your exam, mention any vision problems or concerns that you’re having.
Prior to your exam you should decide whether you will be seeking special services such as a contact lens fitting, or other specialized testing like a LASIK or glaucoma consultation. A normal eye exam includes the following services.
These services may not be included in the covered costs and it’s best to ask first, than to find out at your appointment that you have to pay out of pocket or not allowed yourself enough time for the additional testing at the same visit.
Check with the eye doctor’s office and ask for assistance to liaise with your insurance provider to see if they cover any or all of the exam expenses.
- Your current glasses, sunglasses, and contacts
- A list of current medications—and not just prescription medications. Your eye doctor can look at the list and determine if your medications could be affecting your vision.
- The name and address of your family doctor
- If your appointment includes having your pupils dilated—and most yearly eye checkups do—bring a friend or family member to drive you home. Many people can’t see well enough to drive safely after having their eyes dilated, and it’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Your BC Care Card, and any private vision insurance information that you may have.
- I recommend that you jot down a list of the questions you may have to ask your doctor (it’s frustrating remembering important questions that you wished you asked on your trip back home)
This brings us to our next matter…
What should you bring to your eye examination?
- Your current glasses and any glasses that you might have preferred from past eye exams, as well as your sunglasses, and contact lenses (especially old boxes that include brand and parameters).
- A list of all current medications—and not just prescription medications, but supplements that you may be using too. Your eye doctor can help determine if any of your medications or combinations therein could potentially affect your vision.
- Sunglasses (should the doctor dilate your pupils)
- A driver (if you’re not confident to drive when your pupils are dilated).
- Best rule of thumb: Bring ALL of your insurance cards with you.
- AND maybe bring a “fashionista friend” too – because, only at Image Optometry do you get a Doctor’s eye exam and a complete pair of eye glasses ALL for only $89.95!