How Do I Prepare For An Optometrist Appointment?

If you’re getting ready for an optometrist appointment, you may be wondering what you can do to ensure your visit goes as smoothly as possible. Preparing beforehand and knowing what to expect during your appointment can ease the eye exam process and help your optometrist provide the best eye care.

woman taking glasses off

Collect information for your optometrist

You can prepare for your eye exam even before you contact our Beyond Vision Center team.

Any information you can provide to Dr. Raja or Dr. Morgan is helpful. Keep a log of vision problems, like headaches, blurred vision, or light sensitivity. Include the time of day, season, frequency, and any activities that exacerbate or alleviate your symptoms. This will help us determine the root of the problem and offer the appropriate services.

girl grandparents eyes history

Talk with your family about their vision and make note of any past or current eye conditions. Many conditions, like glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration, are hereditary, and your optometrist will want to include this information in your eye care plan.

Make a list of your current over-the-counter and prescription medications or supplements. The side effects of some medications may affect your vision, and they may impact the additional medications your optometrist can prescribe for your eye care.

Bring along whatever information you have (and your insurance card) when you visit us, but don’t worry if you don’t have everything—it’s most important that you bring yourself!

How to prepare your eyes before your visit

man leaning back resting eyes and preventing eye strain

Rest. This is one of the best things you can do to prepare for an eye exam. Tired eyes will struggle on eye exam tests, which may impact your results. Prioritize getting plenty of sleep the night before your appointment.

What to avoid before your visit

Plan ahead. Strenuous exercise and extended screen time can exhaust eyes, so try to limit both before visiting your eye doctor.

Also, limit alcohol and caffeine consumption prior to your appointment. Both alcohol and caffeine raise your blood pressure, and alcohol can dry out your eyes, which increases their sensitivity to light. Both high blood pressure and dryness can influence the results of your eye exam.

Life is busy! Don’t fret if it's impossible to avoid any of the above before seeing Dr. Raja or Dr. Morgan.

What to bring to your appointment

friends driving wearing sunglasses

You should bring a few additional things to your appointment.

Contact lenses, glasses, and other eyewear

If you currently wear contacts or glasses, bring these to your appointment. You can even wear your contacts to the office! We like to see how your current contact lenses fit your eyes. And it’s okay if you don’t know your prescription for your current contact lenses or glasses—that’s what we’re here for! Bringing or wearing your current eyewear helps us better understand you and your eyes.

Plan for how to get home. After dilated eye exams, your eyes will be sensitive to light for 4-6 hours. Bring sunglasses and wear them for a few hours after your eye exams. If you feel nervous about driving after dilation, you may want to arrange a ride from your appointment, too. Contact a family member or friend and arrange a pickup.

What to expect during eye exams

woman at optometrist with eye chart

Knowing what kinds of tests to expect can help you keep calm before and during your appointment. Rest assured, you are in expert hands!

Eye exam tests

A comprehensive eye exam includes a series of tests to evaluate the current health and performance of your eyes. These tests help your eye doctor determine the kinds of eyewear, services, and additional eye care you need.

A visual acuity test is the eye exam test most associated with the eye doctor (think big to small letters on a poster), but you’ll also go through a refraction exam, which determines your prescription for corrective lenses, and binocular testing, which checks how your eyes move. An ocular health exam tests pupil function and allows your eye doctor to see the anatomy of your eye in detail so they can check for vision problems. It also includes an eye pressure measurement, retinal exam, visual field test, and color vision test.

There is a special exam for contacts, which sizes the lenses and helps your eye doctor find the type of contacts that will best suit your eyes and lifestyle. When you contact your eye doctor, make sure to tell them if you are interested in or currently wear contact lenses. If you’re curious about other corrective procedures, like LASIK, consult with your optometrist.

When you should see your eye doctor

girl getting eyes tested

We recommend that kids get exams at age 3, before first grade, and then every two years.

For adults, we recommend yearly exams. Even if you have 20/20 vision, it's important to have regular evaluations of your visual comfort and eye health. There are no pain receptors in the retina, so conditions like retina disease can be asymptomatic and, without an appointment, go undetected.

If you have a family history of vision problems or a chronic condition like high blood pressure or diabetes, you’ll want to have more frequent eye exams.

The importance of vision care

Healthy eyes allow us to enjoy life to its fullest, making primary eye care vital to health and well-being. Vision problems are most treatable when they are detected early, and an eye exam can provide important information about your overall health. Contact us immediately when concerns arise and make regular eye exams and eye care appointments a priority.

The more prepared you are for your visit, the better. At Beyond Vision Center, we are here to help and care for you every step of the way, even before you visit our office. Reach out today to learn more about our many services and to book your appointment. If any other questions arise about how to prepare, you are always welcome to contact us.

We look forward to seeing you!