There are a variety of healthcare professionals which you may see for your first visit to address your dry eyes.
Whether you start with a visit to your GP or go straight to an eye doctor (ophthalmologist) there are certain things you can do to help prepare for your visit.
Medical professionals typically have packed days with many patients and as a result each appointment may be quite brief. It’s a good idea to be well-prepared for your visit to ensure you get the information you need and both you and your doctor are able to come up with a solid treatment plan. Continue reading below for some pointers on how you can make the most out of your visit.
What you can do
To help move things along and make sure both you and your doctor get all the information you need to come up with a plan it may be helpful to follow the tips below:
- Make a list of all of your symptoms. This includes symptoms related to dry eyes but also any which seem unrelated, possibly not even having to do with your eyes. Your doctor may see a connection which is not clear to you and may point to a larger issue
- Be sure to write down any pertinent personal information. This may include if you have any known medical conditions or any recent life changes such as an injury, (seemingly) unrelated medical diagnosis, diet change or even a new job which results in more time spent staring at a screen
- Make a list of all of your current medications and supplements. This should include any medicines prescribed to you as well as any vitamins, minerals or supplements which you regularly take
- Come prepared with a list of questions to ask your doctor. See example questions below as a starting point
When visiting an eye doctor for dry eyes, there are some basic questions which you may want to ask, these could include:
- Do I need to have any tests done?
- What is the most likely cause of my dry eyes?
- Besides the treatment you recommend, are there any lifestyle changes I can implement which may help with my dry eyes?
- What are my treatment options?
- I also have X health condition, are these related?
- Do you have any websites you recommend for further information?
- Do you have any brochures I can take with me which go over my condition?
- Can I still wear contact lenses?
- Do I need to have a follow up visit?
Don’t hesitate to ask your eye doctor any questions at all you may have concerning the condition. The more you understand the condition the more likely you will take the necessary action required to alleviate your symptoms and solve the problem.
Additionally, you should expect your eye doctor may ask you certain questions. Be prepared to answer the following:
- Can you describe your symptoms?
- How long have you been experiencing these symptoms?
- Are there certain events which trigger your symptoms or are they continuous? Are they worse in the morning or at the end of the day?
- Have you tried any over the counter treatments? How did they work?
- Does anyone in your family have a history of dry eye disease?
- Are you taking any medications/vitamins/supplements?
- How many hours a day are you looking at a screen?