Visiting the eye doctor can be intimidating, especially if you haven’t been in a while. Knowing how to prepare for the visit and thinking ahead is an important part of the eye exam process. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your next visit.

What to think about before your visit:

  • Have I noticed any eye problems such as blurry vision, flashes of light, poor night vision, or double vision?
  • Do I have trouble judging distances or distinguishing between reds and greens?
  • Is a vision problem making me nervous about doing certain activities?
  • Am I willing to listen to the eye doctor’s advice about fixing my vision problems, even if it might be difficult?
  • How well am I taking care of my glasses or contacts? Do I take my contacts out each night and rinse them thoroughly?
  • Have I had any health issues, injuries, operations, or sicknesses lately that my eye doctor should know about?
  • Does my family have a history of eye problems such as glaucoma or cataracts?


What to bring:

  • Your current glasses, sunglasses, and contacts
  • A list of current medications—and not just prescription medications. Your eye doctor can look at the list and determine if your medications could be affecting your vision.
  • The name and address of your primary care doctor
  • If your appointment includes having your pupils dilated—and most yearly eye checkups do—bring a friend or family member to drive you home. Many people can’t see well enough to drive safely after having their eyes dilated, and it’s better to be safe than sorry.
  • Your vision insurance information
  • A list of the questions you want to ask your doctor so you don’t forget them


What to ask your eye doctor:

  • Has anything about my eyes changed since my last visit that I should know about?
  • What are my options for improving my vision?
  • Am I a candidate for laser vision correction?
  • What are the advantages of wearing both contact lenses and glasses?
  • How many hours per day can I wear contacts?
  • Should I look out for anything in particular when it comes to my eyes and overall health?
  • How can I protect my vision while playing sports?
  • Should I be doing anything differently to care better for my eyes?
  • Can I schedule my next visit now?


When to follow up:

  • If you receive contacts or glasses for the first time, plan to follow up with your doctor after about two weeks so you can report back on how well they are working.
  • If your doctor adjusts your prescription and your new glasses or contacts aren’t working out, let your eye doctor know immediately.


With a little bit of preparation, your eye exam should be a simple and straightforward process. Take a few moments beforehand to get ready, and your eyes will thank you.