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Make the Most of your Eye Exam

By Meiya Liao, O. D., Coastal Eye Optometrist

Like all members of the Coastal Eye Specialists team, I am committed to providing the best possible eye care. For us, your clear vision and eye health are the top priorities.

One key to achieving those goals is to make the most out of the time spent in your eye examination. To do that, we need your help — specifically in preparing yourself as best you can for your exam.

Here are some suggestions to help maximize the benefits of your next eye exam at Coastal Eye:

To save time, bring a list of all prescription and over-the-counter medications and drops you are taking, other medical conditions, previous surgeries, significant injuries, and the name of your preferred pharmacy and your primary care doctor. Bring photo identification, and your medical and vision insurance cards.

Come prepared to describe your eye or vision concerns and symptoms. This is one of the most important things you can do. Be as specific as possible. For example, do you have floaters, pain, tearing, redness? When did the symptom begin, how often does it occur? Does the symptom affect only one eye or both, or one more than the other? Have you tried any medications or remedies that have worked or failed in the past? One of the most common complaints that I address is blurry vision. Does this occur during specific activities such as driving, reading, computer work or hobbies? Does it occur with or without certain pairs of glasses? Write down any questions that you may have.

• Bring the glasses you use most often to the exam. These include prescription sunglasses and over-the-counter readers as well as prescription eyeglasses. Bring the most recently prescribed pair even if you are not using them. Broken frames with intact lenses can be measured to provide important information.

• If you wear contact lenses, wear them to the exam so the fit can be evaluated. Bring your boxes or a written prescription in order to confirm what you are currently using. Also important: bring your last pair of glasses, no matter how old, even if you rarely use them.

• Be prepared to spend the time it takes. To enable the doctor to get a clear view inside the eyes, the pupils may need to be dilated (enlarged), using eye drops. Depending on the individual, full dilation may take anywhere from 30 – 45 minutes. Side effects of the dilation drops are sensitivity to light and blurry vision for several hours afterwards. We recommend that dilated patients not drive for several hours after their exam, so bring a driver or make other arrangements for transportation home after your exam. For a complete exam, we recommend reserving 2 hours for your visit with dilation.

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