How to Prepare for a Visit to the Eye Doctor

A visit to the optometrist can help your vision and overall health

Optometrist in exam room with woman looking into machine
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Do I know my family history? Have I had any head injuries?

Let your doctor know if you ever suffered a head injury or have participated in high-impact sports like boxing or football. Your brain is integral to eyesight; it allows you to identify images and make sense of information. Some patients who have traumatic brain injuries earlier in life don't begin to notice a difference in their vision and comfort level until years later.

Glaucoma, a disease that can lead to vision loss or blindness, can also be caused by injury, but it is most commonly inherited. Tell your doctor about your family history so he or she can access your health risks.

[Read: 13 Foods That Do Your Eyes Good.]

Do I get headaches often?

Do you have pain over your eyebrows or often find yourself rubbing your temples? People can feel a lot of strain due to the hours spent looking at their devices.

"Computer users will just consider what they're going through and decide that it's the norm, assuming there is nothing they can do about it, that this is just the way it is." Bazan says. "But there is actually a lot that can be done because of better treatments and diagnosis." Your eye doctor can adjust your prescription so you don't suffer from headaches caused by eye strain at work.

[Read: What's the Best Headache Medicine: Tylenol, Excedrin or Advil?]

Do I need more than one pair of glasses?

This is a common question patients neglect to ask their doctors, Bazan says. "Patients are often so used to having one pair of glasses that does most things well, and they don't realize that settling for a generic pair may keep them from trying new technologies that can improve their well-being," he says. There is anti-reflective eyewear, for example, that keeps glares from a screen or the fluorescent lights above your desk from shining into your eyes. Some patients who find their work environment affects their vision and comfort could consider this version.

Others should consider getting more than one pair of glasses for different activities. "The consumer should start to take the mentality that the one pair of glasses isn't best for everything they do," Bazan says. "You can't wear the same pair of shoes for going to dinner, going to the beach and going running," Bazan says. "The same is true for eyewear."

[Read: 7 Sins of Contact Lens Wearers.]