Your Role as a Patient

Take charge of your eye health! A good eye exam is a dual responsibility. Instructions regarding anything from contact lenses to disease management must be followed carefully, and a regular appointment schedule recommended by your practitioner should be followed. This means ocular health issues are prevented, or detected early and managed properly, to assure best possible vision and quality of life.

Regular eye examinations are also important for your overall health. Many signs and symptoms of disease are detectable early on by virtue of their impact on ocular tissues and components. This includes diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, your risk of strokes, and even certain brain tumours.[1]

Be prepared to give us a thorough health background. Bring a complete list of your medications, both prescription and non-prescription, including antihistamines, decongestants, asthma inhalers, and nutritional supplements. Do not overlook over-the-counter products and herbal remedies. Numerous substances can interact with the structures and conditions of the eye, so it is important you carefully note everything for your practitioner to give the best possible care and advice.

You must also report any current difficulties you are having with your vision such as blurring, dry eyes, double vision, difficulty seeing at night, or eye strain. We need to know about any chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and allergies, as well as any surgery you have had since your last exam.

A family health history is important, as most eye diseases have a hereditary component. Myopia, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and early cataracts, for example, tend to run in families.

 

LIFESTYLE CHECKLIST

How you use your eyes helps us decide what corrective eyewear and/or treatment is best for you. The factors which need to be considered include your work environment; whether you use a computer and for how many hours a day; whether the lighting in your office is natural or artificial; whether you do a lot of close up work such as bookkeeping, accounting, editing, electronics and whether you work outdoors or in hazardous surroundings. Please discuss your leisure and sporting activities as well.

Ultimately, the right eyewear can protect your eyes, enhance your skills, and improve your vision.

 

References & Additional Reading

[1]Salmon, L. (13th March 2017). 6 unexpected diseases an eye test can spot. BT. Accessed from: http://home.bt.com/lifestyle/health/health-concerns/6-unexpected-diseases-an-eye-test-can-spot-11363945289583