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What to Expect

Preparing for Your Eye Exam

Person wearing glasses reading before an eye doctor's appointment

You might be going to your regularly-scheduled eye exam, or you may be following a recommendation or referral from another health care provider.

The more you know going in, the more relaxed you’ll be!

For regularly scheduled eye exams, expect to talk about any changes in your medical history since the last time you saw your eye doctor. And if this is your first time in a new practice, you’ll be asked to provide a more complete medical history, including a list of medications you’re currently taking, and any vision problems your parents may have experienced.

Then you’ll undergo a series of vision and ocular health testing to examine the overall health or your eyes and quality of your vision. We will examine your eyes for signs of any potential vision problems or eye diseases. In many instances, your pupil may be dilated (opened) using drops so that your we can better see the structures of the eye.

Afterward, we will have an honest discussion about the current state of your eye health and vision, and may “prescribe” vision correction for you in the form of eyeglasses or contact lenses. Any health concerns or possibly serious vision complications will also be discussed, including the next steps you must take to preserve and protect your sight.

How Long Is an Eye Exam?

In general, a routine eye exam will last less than an hour, depending upon the amount of testing that you need.

Visiting eye doctors as a result of a vision screening is also common, but remember: vision screenings offered by health clinics, pediatricians, public schools or local charitable organizations are not a substitute for comprehensive eye exams. Be sure to bring the findings from your screening to us—it’s a great way to begin the discussion of your current eye health.

What to Remember For Your Appointment

Many vision problems and eye diseases often present minimal, if any, symptoms. That’s why it’s so important to make regular appointments to see an eye doctor. Since vision can change gradually over time, it’s important to know that you’re seeing your best, year after year.

Remember the following for your next eye doctor visit:

  • Know your medical history and list of current medications
  • Know your current symptoms and be able to describe them—write them down if necessary
  • Know your family history—some eye diseases like glaucoma and cataracts are hereditary
  • Ask in advance about your particular vision insurance plan, and if a co-pay will be due
  • Bring your insurance card, identification and method of payment
  • Bring your most recent prescription for glasses or contact lenses
  • Bring your corrective eyewear to the exam
  • If undergoing a test using dilation eye drops, bring proper eye protection, like sunglasses, for after your appointment