What to Ask at an Eye Exam

Boy with glasses

Asking these questions will help you get the most out of your eye exam. Below each question is an explanation of why you might want to ask it.

What are all the instruments and what do they check for?

Asking this question can make you feel more comfortable during your exam especially if it is your first exam. It allows you to become accustomed to the process of having an exam as well as the office atmosphere. Talking to your eye specialist during the exam will also help calm nerves and allow you to get to know the person taking care of your health and sight.

Do any of the tests have side effects or any risks?

It is a good idea to ask about side effects and risks so you will know what to expect after the exam is over. For example, dilation can cause sensitivity, and glaring is likely to occur. Knowing this will allow you to plan for a way to get home instead of driving yourself.

What can I do to protect, or prolong, my vision?

It is always a smart idea to know ways to protect your vision, and who knows better than your eye doctor? Your eye appointment isn't just for an exam; take advantage of this time to be educated by your doctor's expertise. Asking this one simple question can prevent problems in the future.

Do you have any educational materials that explain my condition?

If your doctor has any materials, these can be incredibly helpful to you. They are an easy way to retain information about your condition and are also a good reference for you to show your family and friends. If no materials are available, you can also ask your doctor to write down what has been discussed with you in the office.

Do you have any recommendations of where I can get any additional information?

Your eye doctor will know great references for you if you are interested in learning more about eye exams or any eye conditions you may have.  Asking your eye doctor this question is a great opportunity for you to receive top notch recommendations and information. These resources could fill in any holes or explain things more thoroughly.

Is my eye condition treatable?

When receiving news on a new diagnosis, you will be concerned with your sight and future health. Of course you will want to know if your condition is permanent or if there is a possibility of correcting it, so this question is a must. Whether your doctor answers with a "Yes" or "No," the explanation will help you understand your condition and what is to be expected in the future.

Will any diet/exercise/other lifestyle changes help my eyesight?

You will want to ask this question at your appointment because it will let you know if there is anything you can do in your life to improve your sight and overall health.  One simple change in your lifestyle could help you to see clearer than ever before.

What changes can I expect in my vision as I age?

Asking this question will help you to prepare for your future.  You will be able to make any adjustments in your lifestyle and inform your family and friends what is to come if needed. You can learn about any warning signs of common conditions, like cataract and glaucoma, which are more common after a certain age.

When do you recommend I schedule my next appointment?

Definitely ask this question before leaving your eye doctor's office. It is important to know when you should come back for a check-up. In fact, it's a good idea to schedule your next eye appointment before you leave the doctor's office. Regular eye exams are not only crucial to having great sight, but also to having great overall health.

My eye exam revealed a condition that requires follow up. What are some of my treatment options?

Many focus and eye health conditions have several options available for treatment. Your eye care professional and staff should provide the benefits of each option to you to help you determine the best course of treatment.